Sorry that it’s been a while since I’ve posted but it was for good reason! Our shipment has arrived!
A perk of moving here was that our employer would cover the cost of shipping everything we could cram into a 20 foot shipping container from DC to Noumea and our container has finally arrived! We were tracking the vessel that we were told it was on via marinetraffic.com (cool website!) and watched it go from Baltimore, down to Montevideo, Uruguay (and every port in between) and then back to NYC, conveniently passing by the Panama canal both times… WTF! Our shipping company never bothered to updated the “tracking” information they provided us to let us know it got moved to a different ship. What a sales gimmick that “tracking” was…. Low and behold, after some emailing, the vessel with our container on it showed up on the radar inbound to Noumea after about 2 months at sea!
Surprisingly, our ship arrived on Saturday and by Monday the destination agent shipping folk were asking when we want them to bring our container to unload at our apartment (ASAP!). We were happy and also a little disappointed when we found that the customs seal had never even been broken until they were unloading it into our apartment. Everyone made it sound like they would go over everything with a fine-toothed comb to root out anything resembling food, chemicals, etc.. One website even said they don’t allow importing of paper products so as to not hurt the local paper manufacturers (?). Not that we really had anything to hide, but it was nice to not have our stuff violated.
So now we’ve been diligently unpacking and fitting all of our stuff into our new home. Oh sweet jesus is it good to have our kitchen knives and my beloved cast iron skillets back. (Dear employer, invest in some better cookware in the “survival kits” you loan to new employees! The cancerous non-stick coating is either completely worn off or flakes off into food if you try to use those useless pots!). I’m also looking forward to using our food processor to make peanut butter, which can be found here only the garbage sugary variety. And salsa. Let’s not forget salsa.
Being me, I’m very happy to have my desktop PC back as well. Finally I can slay some orcs in my free time once again and give the old laptop a healthy respite. Unfortunately a runaway download has chewed up most of our allotted bandwidth for a few days so we’ve been throttled back to 1Mbps and are considering going with the unlimited, albeit slower, ISP but can’t decide if it’s worth the hassle quite yet.
The ever-important kegerator and homebrewing equipment made it safely. We definitely didn’t discretely ship any brewing ingredients… nope… none of those… no spices either… That might have been against the rules depending on who you ask… Now I just need to find a CO2 cylinder to get the brewing operation back up and running. For some reason we seem to make a lot of friends when the kegerator is in full swing…
Some things I fear will not be getting much use – our bicycles are locked in the shed and I’m not convinced they will be making any appearances (except maybe in the classifieds) due to the way people drive around here, the lack of bike lanes/sidewalks, and some other reasons. We haven’t seen winter in Noumea yet, but those winter coats and flannel shirts might stay in the closet for the next few years. Maybe we’ll visit New Zealand and need them.
We’re also excited to have our flower pots back so we can grow some veggies on our balconies and admire them whilst hammocking. To start, we’ve just been growing in plastic bags. Now we can upgrade to real pots! Even if growing our own food might not help a ton with the high food prices, it may make a dent and the quality is always better. It’s fun too. Now we just need to figure out the growing seasons here (which seem to be very long according to the seed packets!). It is awesome to have our patio set back so we can eat outside again! Thankfully there aren’t nearly as many mosquitoes as there were in DC.
We were told to take advantage of our shipment so we packed a lot of cleaning supplies and other staples that we were allowed (suck it, parfumé tp). Costco loved us before we left. We’ve had a hard time finding quality brooms and mops, sponges and dish rags, at reasonable prices here. Things here, by default, seem to be junky so it’s a good thing we packed some new stuff.
I’m sure I’ll have a post soon about how to register an imported motorcycle (which is currently sitting in our driveway being sad and unridden) soon…