Saturday, May 31, 2008

Slowly But Surely

Working hard today on sorting all my stuff. I sure do have a lot! I've gone through the whole sewing room though and it's empty now except for the items that go into storage for the duration. I've even packed up my beautiful, wonderful sewing machine.

As disorganized and messy as I am, for some reason I am completely OCD about organizing to move! Probably for the most part because I am not actually doing the packing myself and giving up that control means I overcompensate in the preparation part.

Snuffles has started working on his cave, oops! I mean office. He's got about 36 hours left here in Texas total so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I won't have to deal with his chaos as well as my own . . . . at least not too much.

He'll be leaving Monday morning to visit his folks in Florida for a few days, and then back here for a little over a day before he takes off for Korea. I'm hoping he finds a nice big apartment for us over there. Ideally I would like three bedrooms so that we can have a designated guest room. I have a lot of friends saying they are coming to visit!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Another Step in the Journey

After a bit of frustration, we managed to get my application for my no-fee (government) passport today.

There is only one person who handles this on base, with daily hours of 10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon for people to bring in their paperwork. Problem is, if you call the office you get either a ringing phone with no answer or a busy signal. We stopped in one day last week within the office hours and no one was in!

Luck is with us though, and Snuffles got in touch with the guy over the phone. He told us what documents we needed to bring in, including the completed passport application that we could get online, and passport photos from Walgreen's.

We went into his office today with the required paperwork. Immediately he kept asking us about our upcoming move to the UK. Oh my. "No sir, we are going to Korea."

He decided some of the additional papers were unnecessary (yikes!), and once he looked over the papers he asked where our visa form was. Yes, this would be the visa form he did not tell us about!

An additional bonus today was that the computer system was down. So keep your fingers crossed that this gentleman does not somehow lose all my paperwork between now and Monday!!

Thanks to the internet and a foum I frequent, I have learned that yes, I do need an A-3 SOFA visa. I'm awaiting further information from those that have "been there, done that" to clarify if I need to obtain this visa before I land in Korea or if I can truly do it once I arrive.

The fellow in the base passport office said that the passport usually takes six weeks to process, but I have heard many other people say they got theirs in three weeks. Let's hope I'm one of the lucky ones!

The other step towards making this move that we took today was selling my beloved car. We've had a buyer for a couple days but have been waiting for Snuffles's car to get back from the garage. Then we got a call this afternoon that his car will be another 4 - 5 days in the shop! So we hurried up and rented a car for the next week and met up with the wonderful young couple that were purchasing my car.

After a lovely interim of about an hour and half standing in line at the Tax Collector's Office (where you handle vehicle titles and registrations), we completed the sale. As much as I adore my car and will miss it, I am very happy with the new owners and I can tell that they are going to love it as much as I do.

Within minutes of arriving back at home, the phone rings. Snuffles's car is ready at the garage! How's that for timing? We are still stuck with the rental car for a week which is rather annoying to have an unnecessary expense but then again, I just didn't feel right making this couple wait to take ownership of their "new" car; they didn't have a car and were themselves using a rental to get around.

One car sold. One passport applied for. One visa to be dealt with. The next step is to continue getting the house organized so that we can be "packed out" as they say. I'm just trying to thin out what we own, sort into two piles or areas of "storage" and "ship to Korea". We will have storage here in the States while we are gone so that we don't have to lug everything we own overseas.

And within those piles, I am trying to assure that like items are with like items. As much as I can avoid it, I do not want to open a box containing a skillet, two pillows, stationery, and candles! I know I'm not the most organized person on the planet (I can hear my mother laughing as I write this!) but some semblance of order will be greatly appreciated by myself when I arrive in the Land of the Morning Calm.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Adventure Begins

Our journey to the Land of the Morning Calm began yesterday. TMO (Traffic Management Office) picked up Snuffles's "Unaccompanied Baggage", which is a limited weight amount of items that will arrive in Korea first. The most basic of necessary items, including a coffee pot and some pillows and blankets.

We spent today running around working on getting my no-fee passport, scheduling a date for TMO to pick up the rest of our HHG (House Hold Goods), get Snuffles's car tuned up to sell, getting my car cleaned to sell.

Before the middle of June, Snuffles will arrive in Korea ahead of me. Once he has secured an apartment and I have received my no-fee passport, I too will be headed over!

Given the nature of
Snuffles's work and other factors, we anticipate living off-base in a typical Korean apartment. As soon as I have photos, I will post them here.

The advantage to living on base is central air conditioning. If we have to, we will live on base but both of us prefer to live off base. Not sure of
Snuffles's reasoning, but for me, I am of the opinion (for now!) that if I am going to live in a country, I want to fully experience it.

I owe a lot of thanks to my parents for allowing me to store my antiques at their house while we are living overseas. And to my son for all of his help in getting those antiques up to Austin!

That is all that I have for now but I hope to update this blog weekly, if not daily.