Wednesday, August 18, 2010

PART FOUR. The Move. Number Four. Unpacking.

At last, you are in Israel, Shloimy.

Your new home!

You land in Israel on Aug 3. You look at the calendar. Your container is supposed to get shipped out Aug 4, and arrive at your door between Aug 24-Aug 31.

You call the Israel movers. Is everything on schedule?

Of course, they say. Why wouldn't it be?

This is an answer or an excuse?

They reply, what do you mean?

You haven't given me a straight answer. Is everything on schedule?

Don't worry, they say. Don't worry.

Now I'm worried.

Shloimy, remember the last time you told me not to worry? Remember? You were supposed to mail that material to Cleveland, and you sent it to Columbus, and then you said, don't worry? Remember?

What? No, Shloimy, I'm not yelling at you. I'm making a point.

When someone tells you not to worry--twice--that's usually a sign you should start to worry.


So guess what happens?

You are assuming that your container has already left New York.  Suddenly, eight days after you get here, you get a call from the mover in Israel. He knows you're concerned about your shipment, he says, and he has great news--your container will leave New York tomorrow. But they're not 100% sure.


They had told you that the container would most likely leave the US on August 4.

Now, they say it will leave on August 12, but they're not 100% sure?

Say Shloimy, I think I'll tell the IRS that I will pay my taxes this year--but I'm not 100% sure.

Think the IRS will buy that?

What do they mean, they're not 100% sure?

Was the moving crew back home right? Is this going end badly?

Will you never get your goods?

Is this a sign that you could get lucky-- could your container fall off the ship?

A $50,000 windfall!

You call the Israel movers. You ask, do containers fall off a ship?

They answer, sometimes.


Don't worry, they reply.  Don't worry.

Oy, vay!

You worry.

Then, a few days later, another call. The container is scheduled to arrive on Aug 22. Be prepared to accept delivery soon after that date. If we offer you a delivery date and you reject it, your delivery date could be delayed, and you can end up paying storage fees. We will give you 24 -48 hours advance notice. If you do not return our call when we leave a message, your delivery date could be delayed. You can end up paying storage fees.

You listen to all of this.  You can hardly believe it--it's exactly on time! Is that possible?

 Then  it's Aug 24. Another call. It's the Israel  mover : the container is here. Can you receive it today?

Today? What about a 24-48 hour advance notice?

The port is very busy. Can you accept today?

Three phone calls later--you have to accept tomorrow, or we put the container in storage.

Okay, tomorrow. What time?

Two more phone calls--9:30 in the morning.

Shloimy, are you writing this down?

You rush around to tell all the neighbors that a large truck will be there a 9:30 in the morning, and will block all of the parking slots.

Fine. No one minds.

Aren't Israelis nice?

Next day, 9:30--no truck. You call the mover. Where's the truck?

What,? they ask. It's at your apartment.

This is not good. Right?

No, you tell them, there's no truck.

Are you sure? they ask.

Yes, you tell them, you are sure.

An hour later, you get a call. They're on their way.


1 pm, you call the mover. Where's the truck?

What? they ask. It should be at your apartment.

No, you say, it's not.

Are you sure? they ask.

Yes, you reply, you're sure.

An hour later, you get a call--they 're on their way.



Then, it's 4 pm. No truck.

You call. They say, What? It's at your apartment, right? You say, no. They say, are you sure?

You say, are you kidding me? That truck was supposed to be here almost seven hours ago.  Come on, you say, tell me the truth--my container fell off the ship, didn't it?

No, they say, nothing  fell off the ship.

You say, yeah? so how come it's still not here?

The mover doesn't know. But he'll call back.

Thirty minutes later, the mover calls back.The truck is in Jerusalem. They will be here in one hour.

An hour later, you call. By now, it's after work hours, but the mover has given you his cell phone number, and he's said that he'll stick with you until the truck arrives. So you call now: no truck.

He asks, are you sure?

Hey, what's with this guy?

Yes, you're sure.

I'll call you back.

So you wait. The man actually calls back.

The truck is in Jerusalem. They are using a GPS system to get from their last drop off, to you. The GPS shows therm the shortest route--right through an Arab neighborhood.

An Arab neighborhood, you say. What happens now?

The mover doesn't know. It's Ramadan. Night time is celebration time. There's a massive traffic jam in the Arab neighborhoods, and this is an eighteen- wheeler truck. It'll take time.

I'll say. They were supposed to get to your place at 9:30 in the morning, and they don't first arrive until  after 9:30 pm.

And now they're going to unload?


So they unload. 206 boxes. Up two flights of steps. Each box weighs between 35 and 50 pounds. Even with four guys, this is not an easy job.

At 10 pm, it's still 90 degrees outside.

Took them 3 hours.

They were Russian. All of them, between the ages of 35 -52.

Strong like bulls!

I was so impressed with their physical stamina, I wondered, with men like these, how could the Russians lose thr Cold War?

Then I realized--these men had left Russia!

No wonder the Russians lost: there was nobody left to do the 'heavy lifting'!

They finished just before 1 am.

Then the fun began.

You see, in Pittsburgh, you had identified 60 boxes of books to ship. But in Israel, you do not receive 60 boxes of books.

You receive 95 boxes of books.

How did you go from 60 boxes of books to 95 boxes of books?

You have no clue.

You were watching these guys pack, remember?

What, the boxes had babies?

So what do you do?

You dig, that's what.

Oy, Vay!

Are you having fun yet?

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