Well we moved in to our house yesterday. We’ve moved around quite a bit – this is our 5th in 5 years – so moving is nothing new to us. However, moving into a house overseas is an entirely different ballgame and at least 10 times more difficult. Granted, part (maybe most) of the added difficulty is trying to organize things while chasing after a very active 11 month old, but even taking her out of the picture, it’s still been tough.
You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to organize when you don’t have closets, and have VERY limited cabinet space. We went from having a HUGE linen closet, 4 drawers, and a double cabinet in our master bathroom in Phoenix, to having a medicine cabinet here. Things will get a little better once we get our HHG’s (household goods) since I’ll have a few more shelves to place around the house to put some of my junk.
Mark and I luckily loaded up half of the car we rented on Monday night. And it’s a good thing we rented that car also, because we would have had to take at least 3-4 trips with our Lancia. (We rented this piece of JUNK Opel Astra for 15Euros a day. But seriously, I’m surprised it’s legal to rent this car. We discovered yesterday that the brake lights don’t even work on it. But it’s a station wagon so we had it loaded to the max with suitcases and dog cages and anything else we could shove in there.) Mark had called on Monday to ask when the guys were going to deliver our FMO furniture and they told him late morning/ early afternoon. So we got up around 8am and packed up a shopping cart full of plastic bags full of all of our stuff. The cart was completely full and we crammed all that stuff into the back of the Opel. Around 10am I ran to the BX to get a cooler to put all our refrigerated food in and then had to drop off cookware we borrowed from Airmen and Family Readiness. I was just turning all the cookware in when Mark called and said that he just got a call from the FMO guys and they were at our house waiting for us. Nice. The one time the Italians are actually early for something was about the most inconvenient timing for us. So I literally ran to the car, dropped the coolers off to Mark, traded him cars so I had the rental and he had the Lancia with Abbie’s car seat and the dogs, and left. I got about a mile away from base before I realized that the damn house key was on the keys to the Lancia that I’d just given to Mark. Grr.. So I turned back around, went back on base, got the keys, and headed out for the 2nd time. I got from base to our house in about 16 mins, which is about 5 mins faster than normal. Luckily when you drive like a maniac you blend in with the Italians and you pretty much don’t have to worry about getting pulled over for speeding. (Because even when you are speeding, people are still passing you.) Thankfully the FMO guys weren’t upset that they had to wait.
So now we’re kind of settled into the house. We’re still living out of suitcases since they gave us 1 dresser for all 3 of us. We now have 5 wardrobes, which will be our closets, but one wardrobe is about half the size of Abbie’s closet in Phoenix, so it’s going to be a trick to fit all our clothes into 3 of those. (We put one downstairs for random junk and one upstairs for my craft stuff.) I’m still trying to find places to shove things in the kitchen and it’s turning into a situation where you open a cabinet and things fall out of it they’re so full. It’ll be better once we get our HHG’s and make our big Ikea run.
Our biggest challenge moving here is figuring out the stupid outlets. Germany and Italy have similar, but different, outlets and plugs. They’re very similar, but Germany plugs are a tight fit into Italy outlets. And naturally most of the things they sell here are German… So we have to buy adapters to get the German plugs into the Italian outlets. And Italian outlets aren’t like American outlets where there are 2 places to plug things in in each outlet. There’s only 1 place to plug things in per outlet, so we had to buy a bunch of those adapters that have spaces to plug 3-4 things into one outlet. And then we also need adapters to plug our American plugs into Italian outlets. And I fried our modem because I forgot it needed to be plug into a transformer and I plugged it in just using an adapter instead of a transformer… So now we need a new one of those. Oops. Oh, and every time we turn on our 2000 watt transformer, it blows the circuit breaker for the entire house, so we have no clue how to get that to work. Even if everything else in the entire house is off, except for the fridge, it’ll still blow the breaker. We haven’t figured that one out yet…