Monday, July 04, 2011

The move is fixed

The move back to Terrigal from Dubai is fixed.

The container with our belongings has left the huge Port Jebel Ali, forty or so kilometres outside Dubai, and the flight's booked for mid-August.

We've added a few things, especially clothing of course, to what we shipped from Oz to Dubai back in 2005, but not a huge amount. Most of the container is stuff simply being returned. A lounge suite, replacing the one we sold before we left Oz, and a new bed plus few bits of china, some artwork and that's about it for the new stuff.

We're using Allied Pickfords to ship our belongings. The Filipino guys who came to do the actual packing were great but I haven't been impressed with the company's admin/paperwork so far. It's been the usual inefficiencies so many companies are guilty of, with delays caused because files were not passed on to the next person in the chain, documents already supplied being being asked for again, the insurance policy not being forwarded to me until I chased it up.

Still, it's now all done and we just have to wait to see how it all turns up at the other end.

We're sort-of camping in the apartment, with just the basics. The kitchen and bathrooms are fully equipped of course and we have a table & chairs, bed, the laptops and a TV. It's comfortable enough for a few weeks.

The process I'm not looking forward to is dealings with the bureaucracy before we can leave.

Firstly I have to transfer the car to the new owner, which involves a visit by both parties to the traffic police. That's planned for the next day or two. I'm not sure what's involved when we get there, it'll be the usual thing here of playing it by ear.

I sponsor Mrs Seabee so I have to cancel her residence visa and reclaim my deposit of AED10,000 ($2,500+). Not something I'm looking forward to, Immigration is usually chaotic, confused, packed. People at each desk tell you something different from the last person you saw, the signs telling you where to queue are often wrong.

One huge improvement the last time I had to go was that they'd insalled a ticket numbering system. You know, take a ticket and go to the designated counter when your number is called.

That replaced absolute bedlam, where it was every man for himself, 'queues' not north-south but east-west, pushing and shoving, shouting and waving papers in the face of the person behind the desk.

I have my fingers crossed that the improvements have continued and it may be a reasonably orderly transaction. My own residence visa cancellation has to be done by my sponsor.

The Terrigal end is reasonably well set up. Our house was leased out for the past five years but we took it over again a few months ago. I've had a couple of visits to get things cleaned and tidied up and while there's still a lot to do - the house needs a complete repaint inside and out and the garden had gone somewhat feral - it's fine to move back into.

We stayed in Dubai much longer than planned. Mrs Seabee got so involved in her job that she wanted to stay longer and although I was ready to come back we compromised as married couples do and did what the wife says.

I'm really looking forward to being back.

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