The shop is finally up and running again. To my relief, all of my work made it in perfect shape. With the exception of a crushed lamp shade and a few scattered household items, we had a good experience with our shipment from the US to England. We used a company called Corrigan (in the US). From door to door it took exactly 11 weeks. We only packed a small container (no furniture) of our most favorite things. The boxes took a little abuse, but because everything was packed with a lot of wrapping and padding, all the valuables made it safe. Hurray! Overall, a good experience. Now....where do I put everything?
With the purchase of a new sewing machine this week (we sold all of our electronics minus the computers due to outlet conversions, etc.) I'm all set up! Well, at least the shop is set up. Phew. This is a lot of work. It has helped tremendously that we are renting a flat (that we found through a work colleague) that is furnished. It's nice and clean and has everything we need. The only problem is that now our things are here, we have no place for any of it. So patiently it waits in the garage unit until we find our own space. Which at the moment, is feeling a bit daunting. Friends of ours who are also here from other countries have lots of frustrating stories about getting things set up here. And to be honest, we're already experiencing it ourselves. Nothing seems to go smooth. Everything from setting up our mobile phones, bank accounts, purchasing a car, finding a flat... (the list is long), has been hard. I'm not talking about the day to day things that we all deal with, I'm talking about it being hard as in people being resistant to work with us. Companies, sales folks, you name it.
I've always heard about the customer services in England (Europe) being different than in the US. Well, I can say now that it's true (in England anyway). And in different I mean a bit hostile, unfriendly, unhelpful and bully-ish. Sorry to say it. I wish I could be more positive. The first time it happened, I thought...wow, this person is having a bad day. I brushed it off, moved on. But the second, third, fourth, fifth time? I think a pattern is presenting itself.
I keep wondering if it's because we speak American English, or that we ask questions? Or is it because we're just not from here? We don't know all the rules already? We make more work for someone? We're different? Or maybe it's not about us at all.
Growing up in the US, with so many nationalities around and friends from so many different countries and regions, being different was a beautiful thing. Helping someone made me feel good. Working with someone who didn't know something I knew was a learning experience for me as well. You felt compassion, understanding, what it meant to have an open mind. And yes, customer service was, for the most part, pleasant. But perhaps, I was living in my own little bubble. It can happen.
So we'll see how this goes. We are trying to do as much research as we can before we talk to anyone, so we can prevent being taken advantage of. I have a feeling this will be an interesting road. We'll see how it goes. In the meantime, we're trying to stay optimistic. Wish us luck. Ha! Yes, humor always helps. And girlfriends! I heard from so many of my girls this week and it made me feel so special (and a bit sad too, because I miss them so). Love you Nic, Alina, Christina, and Kshipra!
Here are a few things keeping me happy these days:
1. Listening to these sisters.
2. Yoga with this yogi man.
3. Our favorite café in Burnham. We've been 3 times this week already!
4. Thinking about some comfy jeans for working around the flat.
5. Layered necklaces.
6. I want to make a doll of her.
7. Dreaming of visiting this area for the holidays.
8. Making these as mug coasters right now.