26/09/2007 By dadmin 0

Some thoughts…

Since I have not been very active in bloging lately, just thought I should make a summary of most important events. As Dirk already wrote, one of the most important events was that we moved into our new house. The whole unpacking was quite tiring as it’s the first time we moved into a house with levels, and dispatching things meant going up and down the stairs all the time! After 3 days of doing that, I was quite tired. Luckily, we did not have to move all the stuff in one day. Since our rental was not occupied, we had enough time to move the things. Moving also meant another disruption in connectivity as the phone took one week to start working and the Internet about 2 weeks. The TV took longer but that’s not really a big issue for us. We barely watched any TV since April because we did not want to make a subscription knowing we’ll not be in the rental for too long.

Once we more or less finished moving the things, we went to get the cats from Romania. The 6 month rule for their blood test expired on 12 September and we could bring them here. We first wanted to get them with British Airways Cargo, but the price was quite high, so we eventually arranged to go from Brussels and then by ferry. I have to note that in Brussels we had a very bad experience the first evening, when we get to the hotel Dirk had booked through BT. The Aristote hotel, as nice as it looked on the website, was quite crappy. We spent the evening trying to get another hotel and get out of there. The standard was like a highway motel. Really shaky beds and old blankets. The bathroom was very old. Anyway, eventually we found another hotel, with the help with Dirk’s brother that did some search on the Internet, and we left. Of course, we had to pay one night, which was insanely expensive for the conditions they offered. The location, even though it looked very close to the center, did not impress me at all. Many of the buildings around there (Stalingrad Ave.) were quite passed their prime. Anyway, once we changed the hotel all was nice and sunny again and we had a very good time in Brussels 🙂 BTW, Brussels is a very nice place. In terms of cafes and restaurants I like it more than Paris because you can find very nice places, lots of patisseries, bakeries, with friendly waiters.

The trip to Romania was mainly for getting the cats so we only stayed 4 days. We also saw a concert as the Enescu Festival was taking place. This year they brought very impressive names, some of the most important currently performing artists, like Maxim Vengerov, Martha Argerich, Murray Perahia, LSO (London Symphony Orchestra), Jose Cura, and others. I would have liked to stay a bit longer and attend some more concerts but the timing was not right.

The trip with the cats back was quite ok, as Dirk described. The only annoying thing was in the Bucharest airport where I needed to go and talk to a vet, that just put a stamp in their passports and asked me for 55 RON per cat (there are about 3.5 RON per 1 euro). Obviously, he did not give me any receipt and the money was just put into his drawer. Then, another dubious person that was near the Tarom counter said he will help me not take the cats out of their bags when passing through the security, since I was a bit afraid they will go nuts. Of course, he asked for bribe for him and the security person. Once we got to the security, the woman wanted to put the cats in their bags through the X-Ray machine. We were both shocked! On that machine there is a very clear sign saying that no parts of the body should be put through it but she said it’s no problem. We did not want to do that so we had to get the cats out. I got very annoyed and I asked to have my bribe back. The cats were amazing and very easy to handle. Dirk got one at a time through and the cats were surprisingly quiet and said absolutely nothing.

Getting them in UK was very easy even though everybody kept saying how bad it is. However, they had all the records in order, so we just had to read their microchips there, give the passports and that was all.

It was quite a long and tiring trip for all of us ( we left from Bucharest at 4am and got in Colchester around 5pm) but that was the end of our move here.