went into effect five days ago, and so far, so good. Matt and his two large suitcases are living at The Oakwoods, an older and somewhat run down long term stay apartment complex that he's deemed, "the projects for foreign service folks." He's enjoying his time so far in DC with training, seeing friends, and eating good food.
We, on the other hand, are having FUN... with a capital F ... which coincidentally, is the first letter of the word I'd use to describe the authorized service providers working on my iMac. Without frustrating myself even further (see another 'f' word), let's just say that the service is not quite up to standards. Due to the unbelievable rules, paperwork, approvals, miscommunication, and uncompromising service people, I am still sans iMac. And getting angry. All I asked them to do last Friday was to replace the hard drive ... but before they send the old hard drive back, let me take my computer home and ensure that I am able to upload all of the data from my Time Capsule back onto my computer. I asked them to wait a few measly hours. That's it. No budging, they outright refused. No matter how many different ways of begging, they would not order the hard drive until I agreed to let them send my old one back. They truly missed the point of Apple's customer service. And then they changed their story as to when the new hard drive would be in and when the computer would be ready. After a week of this, I am livid.
I spoke with Apple Care in the U.S., and they assured me that what they're doing here is NOT how they'd handle it if this happened in the States. So, I filed a formal complaint about the service provider. It's not that I'm upset with how long it's taking for me to get my computer back, what's a few more days at this point. It's that they're enforcing rules that Apple said are unwarranted. Rules for rules sake. Because they can. See, they don't bother to follow any other rules around here... they urinate where they want, they don't wear helmets, they drive down the wrong side of a one way road, they drive without licenses... apparently, these rules don't matter. But to give me a few hours to ensure my data is saved ... that's asking WAY too much.
Another FUN thing going on here is that Sheridan finally decided to stop wearing pull ups to bed and start wearing underwear. We're on night our sixth night, and so far, only two accidents. Which of course are always at 4 am, and so big that I truly have to wonder how a) she has THAT much urine in her, and b) how she's able to soak the sheets, comforter, and mosquito netting on and around her bed.
Adding more FUN to our week, I was told that I need to have a root canal. Insert big sigh here. My back tooth has been throbbing whenever I eat or drink, so I called the dentist's office, told them I thought a filling came loose, and luckily got in the next day. After an examination and hot/cold testing, an x-ray confirmed the diagnosis. I made the appointment for the root canal, paid my whopping $4 for the two x-rays, and the receptionist gave me the bill estimate for the root canal. In shock, I asked if it was correct. The total... $136 for the root canal. And ... $180 for the porcelain crown. Woo hoo! Thankfully, dental care in Chennai is fantastic ... one of the saving graces.
Tomorrow is the big garage sale at the Consulate, where I've reserved four tables and a friend to help me sell stuff, some of which I've been schlepping around for seven years. Of course, I still don't know if that's enough. I've spent the last few weeks going through every cabinet, drawer, closet, and storage area to decide what we're keeping, what we're selling, what we're donating, and what we're throwing away. After tomorrow I'll have a few weeks to relax before I gear up for our pack-out.
Let me end with our current total of my FUNdraising efforts for my Faces of Poverty project ... We have raised about $1150. AND there's STILL time to donate. If you've been forgetting or just putting it off, you can still send your check or donate via Pay Pal. Click here to walk through the process. Thanks so much to all of you who've sent money, good wishes, and a helping hand. I truly appreciate it!