Since I don't blog about work here and these days my life is all work all the time, I haven't had a lot of meaningful input for blogs. I know I still owe a Cairo blog. It may or may not happen, realistically. I'm on vacation starting after next week, so we'll see how bored I get. My work event for tonight was canceled, and I'm about done repacking (more on that later on), and dinner was easy to procure (shwarma from the on-compound restaurant), so I have a little bit of extra time before bed. So I'll participate in this week's State Department Blog Round-Up, the theme of which is "what I wished I packed in my UAB."
Honestly, I don't know. Because I don't yet have my UAB. For a myriad of reasons.
I arrived in country almost three months ago. It took a month to get my residency permit, which was the first step before I could apply for my customs exemption. Which I didn't do right away. Because. Shortly after moving into my permanent housing, I discovered that I was not moving into an empty place. Oh no. I won't go into the sordid details, but it became painfully clear (literally) that the media-darling pests of the moment in the US are resident in my apartment. Ew. It's a horrifically long story, but I am still waiting for a solution. It has not been the greatest two+ months. But next week my apartment and all of my belongings will be sanitized, all soft furniture (including mattresses) will be replaced, and hopefully my roommates will be history. Meanwhile all of my belongings that have been heat-treated are in bags inside boxes so they stay pest-free, and the remaining belongings are awaiting heat treatment. So I am basically completely packed up, except for a few clothes and necessities.
In the middle of all this, my UAB arrived. I heard last week that it had cleared customs and is ready for delivery, along with half of my HHE (but the boring half, not the fun half with my kitchen stuff, books, and decorations). I refuse to have it delivered until my apartment is sanitized, for obvious reasons. So while it should have only been two months without UAB, it'll be three+. Add to that the fact I'm going on vacation right after the apartment gets sanitized, so I really won't have my UAB until the end of the month.
What have I missed the most, and what am I glad is arriving in my UAB soon, though? That's easy! My bedding - down comforter, comfy pillows, high TC sheets and duvet cover. Hangers! (My housekeeper leaves me a note every time she comes that I need more hangers. But I have TONS coming and can't justify buying more right now.) I think my iPod sound system is in there; if not, I should have put that in! I think I threw in enough toiletries to get me through until HHE arrives; would do that again. A few essential kitchen gadgets. Really important photos in frames, ones I wanted right away. A few decorative items to make the place feel like home. I've resisted looking at my pack-out list to see what else, because I want it to be like Christmas when it finally gets here.
All of the things I've ordered since arrival are sitting in boxes in my office; I don't dare bring anything else home until the place is clean and pest-free. Those are things like throw pillows, a couple pairs of shoes, another comforter I bought on sale (I love comfy bedding), a knife set, a couple of board games, clothes, etc. Plus my gorgeous new mosaic mirror (featured on our Consulate Facebook page, if you want to take a look) and some hand-woven baskets.
I actually think I did a pretty good job of organizing my UAB. It weighed in at 214 pounds without the packing materials - for the first time in my life I estimated packing correctly! It's got some awesome stuff in it. So I look forward to receiving it. And not having roommates. One more week. I hope. I really really hope.