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The transition

SO I’m not dead.  And I haven’t given up yet on my blog. I’m sure I will eventually, being that I’m no longer in Brazil.

from The Load Star UK

Oh but don’t worry, I haven’t abandoned Brazil completely.  See I can’t the country is still holding my belongings hostage.  You know how when you move to Brazil there is always some “reason” why customs is behind and it takes 3 months to get your shipment.  Well we figured since we were air shipping, it would take 2 weeks max to get all of our belongings.  I’m still waiting, because there is a customs strike in Brazil, so all of my precious belongings (KitchenAid, Vitamix, all of my pots and pans, art work from Brazil) are sitting in a crate somewhere.  We’ve stopped getting updates from the moving company, so I guess one day it will just arrive— maybe 6 months from now??  I think I feel worse for all the expats who thought they’d buy their year + supply of America.. sorry guys! At least I can hit up the local Costco while I wait.

I’ve been busy.  Between coming off of maternity leave, and then moving back to the US, trying to get our nanny a Visa, and then well just trying to find a home I’ve been under water.  The rental market here in the San Francisco area is crazy crazy tight.  We found a place though, and I have to tell you, even though I leave in a very nice suburban neighborhood, where everyone knows your name and waves at you while you drive by, I couldn’t sleep the first night.

Where was my gate? Where was the security of the guard sitting below.  I was on the ground, and anyone could easily climb into any window.  It was unnerving to be soo, so unprotected.  My nanny when she arrived was amazed at how quiet and clean everything is, it just felt odd to her.

Nanny Observations:

  1. Is the (heater) hole on the bathroom floor for throwing water down when cleaning the bathroom?
  2. Did you really just wash a load of laundry and dry it in an hour?? (Halle freakin lujah!!)
  3. Why don’t we have Oreos in Brazil?

Oh and can I just say I just brought myself a Mint, and I wish I had that little thing in Brazil. It quietly cleans all of our wood floors wonderfully.

 

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Our Empty Home

Because we are in Brasil on a temporary basis, and because my husband’s firm offered to ship down 1000 lbs. of goods (and cover the import taxes), we shipped down a few items we felt were necessary, but went light on the homier items.  Now that I sit on our couch (purchased at Tok&Stok an overpriced Ikea of sorts) and look over my large, house like apartment I wish I would have brought a few more “nick nacks”.

My husband did a wonderful job of finding an apartment in Brasil, and has landed us in an older apartment building in Brooklin-Paulista. The newer buildings, with their shiny glass covered balconies are much smaller on the interior, so we are happy with our large and spacious old style building.  I also think the apartment has a charm to it, as it is old.  The street is a quiet, rarely traveled, one-way street with bits of the original, hand-lain brickwork poking through the modern asphalt.  The trees are covered in the emerald green moss, with roots pushing the narrow, bumpy sidewalks into further distortion.  As I stare out my apartment window with my son, I watch the never ending parade of Brazilian’s walking their dogs (which is definitely one of the drawbacks of Brasil, no one really picks up their dog’s messes).  In short, I really love it here.

I read on one blog about how no one ever walks anywhere, and people drive out of their driveways and back in again, never stepping foot on the sidewalk outside.  I think a life like this may have been something I experienced in Morumbi, where there wasn’t a cute corner bakery, or the local feira, or the really great restaurant that sells Frango de Asado (grilled chicken) every weekend that I could easily walk to.  I am glad we chose Brooklin.

 

I love that Orchid’s grow on the trees in front of my house, I couldn’t have asked for a prettier view!

Our balcony is much larger than all of the other balconies in the complex, and wraps along the entire side of our apartment.  I also have my own private balcony for our bedroom.  This will make for a great gardening spot I think, and an even better play area for my son, as there are no little bars for him to chuck random kid objects through, little legs, or big fat heads.

 

The common area comes with a Brazilian style bbq pit and from the looks of it a wood burning oven. To the left is the Olympic sized lap pool (for my son), and a little play area that I may let the little licker on one day when he stops being the little licker. Behind the play area is a soccer goal, and off to the side is the gym with sauna.  Overall not bad.


The interior of the home is all dark wood. I really feel like I’m living in an old Southern home.  I have a living room, with the attached dining area that has swinging doors that head into the kitchen.  I guess if I had maids and a cook bringing out delicious meals to me, that’d be a very helpful little door.  The kitchen has a breakfast nook and then flows into the full sized laundry room.  I absolutely LOVE that there are racks above the washer/dryer that I can hang my clothing from.  Living in a small apartment in Los Angeles, I found that our apartment was strewn with my “do not dry in the dryer” clothes every Saturday and Sunday morning.

 

In Brasil there is always the service entrance.  The maids, nannies, service men who come to your home always enter through the back door. Brazilians take this formality seriously (as my husband learned when transporting his suitcase up the main elevator).  The service entrance is where we leave our trash to be taken away by the building maid every day.  It is where our mail is left for us to pick up, and it is the door that leads straight into the laundry room.  Off of the laundry room is the maid’s room.  This could be where the maid kept her belonging for the day, or if we had a live in maid where she slept.  The room is not bigger than a small walk-in closet and is meant merely for a bed from what I can see.  Across the hallway is her bathroom.  I’ve tried to take photo’s to capture how awful this bathroom really is… think cruise ship, but worse.  Yes the shower head literally hangs above a drain on the floor between the sink and the toilet.

 

Overall, the apartment is large.  With a living room, and attached dining room, two bedrooms, an office, a master bedroom, 2.5 bathrooms, and the maid’s bathroom. Along the hallway are floor to ceiling closets, which change to mirrored doors in the master bedroom.  This is the main hallway, which leads to the master bedroom hallway (another 7 feet of hallway after the door until you get to the room itself).

 

 

On all accounts we are very lucky to be in a large apartment, versus a tighter apartment.  The only issue is we only have 1000 lbs. of belongings coming down, and most of that will go in the kitchen or the closets!

And rent, well the rent for this space is better than I could ever find in LA.

Traveling… with infant

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Traveling wasn’t too bad at all… other than the fact that I left my Tablet on the flight from SLC To DFW… yeah, let’s just say the spouse is none to pleased.  I am hoping the nice people in Lousiville, Kentucky let me know some good Texan found it on their flight and turned it in.  Stranger things have been known to happen.  This missing tablet means there are no photos for me to share of the whole experience (yep that’s the biggest let down of the whole missing tablet right??).

So I traded some old couple the bulkhead seats AA had assigned me.  What I was going to do with two seats that didn’t let the arm rest up was beyond me.  My kid LOVED flying.  He seriously went crazy once I opened the window and he could see out it. He was laughing so hard and kept kissing me…baby kisses are more like you are being drowned in slimy slobber though, so not exactly pleasant.

In Dallas the nice ladies at the counter convinced a Platinum member to give up their seat so we could have two seats next to each other and at the window.  This meant that my son pretty much slept the whole flight. I laid him down in his little seat bed and he was out.  I of course slept like anyone does on the plane, with the additional stress of worrying about my son rolling off the seat, so having to prop my leg or body up as a shield.

When I landed in Sao Paulo, I felt like I was landing at one of the outer island airports in Hawaii.  You could see lots of green tropical trees, the runway had grass along the side of it, and of course there was tons of red dirt.  Even the airport itself reminded me of Honolulu’s airport.

When you first disembark you go through customs with the Federal Police to show them that you have a Visa.  I got to go in the same line that the pilots and flight attendants used as I had a baby, so skipped the huge line.  At the baggage claim everything was already stacked up and waiting, so I grabbed one of the free carts, finagled a few Brasilian guys to help me stack up my 3 large bags strategically on one cart, stowed the baby in his stroller, and stacked his car seat on his lap, and began pushing the “mega cart” and dragging the stroller behind me. I was quite the spectacle!

The next line you get in is the line where you hand them your baggage declaration and then they xray your items.  Well all around the airport are these guys with yellow vests that say “Can I help you?” in English. One of them came up to me, explained that there was a “mothers line”, and took me to the very front of the line.  I thought wow sweet, that’ll save time, now will I stand out so they will do an extra thorough job of x-raying my luggage, and notice who I packed the entire US into 3 suitcases and my GIANT stuffed backpack?  Well the answer to that worry is no!  As soon as I handed the woman my bagged declaration slip, they ushered me right out the door. Yes people that’s right, I totally skipped through the X-ray machines, because I had a little baby.

I am exhausted, and there is a ton more about Sao Paulo that I’ve experienced now that I’m here.  But I can’t help but think of Sao Paulo as a mix of Germany and Hawaii, and I loved living in both places, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to love it here too.

 

Beware of emails

I realize I have promised to post on here regularly, and I have lots of back information I have yet to even post about.  However, this morning at 5am I drove my husband to the airport. He was flying to a 3 day training and then hopping on a plane to Brazil.  We are losing 40 lbs. that we could bring because of this fact, as did you know that you can take 2, 70 lb bags when going to Brazil, versus the standard 50 lbs.?! Yeah sweet deal. I guess it’s because everyone smuggles so many “gifts” in to the country 😉 Either way as his flight from Utah to LA is considered domestic, he couldn’t take advantage of the 70lb bag limit.

Anyway the point as to why we should be wary of emails.  E-mails for us have been mostly bad news.  “Oh sorry we haven’t got around to sumbitting the paperwork for your work permit yet.” “Oh hey, the girl you were working with left the company and with it all of the previous paperwork you filled out three months ago.” “Oh hey your stuff is being held ransom.”

Well today’s email was, “Hey the lawyers are still working out the financial terms of you working in Brazil..”

Nevermind that we told them in May we were going to Brazil.

Nevermind that my husband isn’t exactly a big wig or anything. Seriously how much is there to work out?

The plus in all of this is that if the lawyers continue to be lawyers (haha to all my lawyer friends), then well hubby may get to spend Christmas with me!

For the “Esposo” of Put Aside the Ranger… yes we didn’t make up this ENTIRE trip to Brazil to get out of well … everything 😉

Our stuff is being held ransom

So we got an email yesterday telling us that due to the ports in Brazil being super backlogged due to issues “currently” we can expect our things in 6 weeks. I had to laugh because here and here people moving have pretty much indicated this is standard timing… not “exceptional delays due to unusual conditions,” as this email seemed to state.  Then again, maybe it will be 8-10 weeks! ACK!!!

As we packed up everything on the 30th, I thought we were being smart and gaining time by still being in the US so that we wouldn’t feel like we were waiting as long for our stuff to come when we moved to Brazil. We had room so we threw in our iron.. yes we now have an Iron coming about 2 months after we would want to iron clothing. So we’ll be somewhat wrinkly for a bit.

Oh but see, Brazil is smarter than me.

RANSOM NOTE

The List of demands:

  1. 03 notarized copies of passport (all pages, including blank pages) – original document may also be required.
  2. 03 notarized copies of identification card (RG / RNE)
  3. 03 notarized copies of Income Tax Card (CPF)
  4. 03 notarized copies of airline ticket used to enter in Brazil first time with your visa  (boarding pass may be required too)
  5. 03 simple copy of proof of residence in Brazil
  6. 01 original of power of attorney plus 2 notarized copies (form will be supplied by Fink), this form should be issued by the Tabelião de Notas in Brazil;
  7. Valued list in Portuguese: form will be supplied by Fink and should be filled in Portuguese and mentioning values of goods to be received in US$. Form and instructions will be sent at the proper moment for preparation.
  8. 03 notarized copies of publication of visa grant at the “Diário Oficial da União”  (Brazilian official newspaper)

Today’s email held the list of documents we need to have notarized in Brazil.  The RNE identification card we can’t get until we are in Brazil, and we have no proof of living anywhere yet. And of course, they won’t release our items until we have actually boarded the plane to Brazil per line 4 . Boo!  Hubby has a training on international accounting on the 8th, so is flying out on the 11th.  This means our things most likely won’t ship till mid December!  So Happy Valentine’s Day to us, we finally got our shipment.  I hope those words don’t come back to haunt me.

Ransom note generate via the Ransom Note Generator.

We’re shipped!

So yesterday the mover’s came.  The great thing about Thanksgiving was that Ryder and I drove to Utah to spend it with Ryan’s family, meaning Ryan had to fly back and meet with the movers for the shipping.

They asked us ahead of time what we were packing, and then showed up and lickity split got everything moved.  In fact they moved things that my husband was going to throw away but had left out!  We were allowed 7000 pounds into storage and 1000 pounds via air freight.  It took them 6 hours with three guys.  I figure that had to be pretty good, as before I left I made all these random piles in each room of take to Brazil, go to storage, pack in our luggage.

We did learn that we couldn’t take any batteries or aerosol cans couldn’t go in the shipment as they are considered explosives.  Which is surprising how many aerosol items we have.  It was nice that they went through and wrote down every single item that they packed and it’s condition.  We will see how long it takes to get to Brazil, and if we have any problems picking it up.

Either way I’m glad it’s done. I am glad we are no longer in the Orsini apartments. Which by the way I highly discourage anyway not move into the Orsini.

Hubby says this post is boring, but moving is boring! I am sooo glad it’s done with..