Friday, December 12, 2008

Life in Limbo

I hate it when things are up in the air. It may be my control-freak nature or my desire for certainty but it really unsettles me when I've done my utmost to make sure things are in order and some service provider - which I have paid good money to - fails on their part of the bargain.

The UK is notorious for bad service and I am sort of used to that - I usually bite my tongue, shrug my shoulders and let the bad emotions fester inside (OK, last bit is not v. nice). But something that I've been very annoyed about of late - which I haven't been able to ignore - is the delay I'm experiencing in the delivery of my stuff from London.

Unlike many of my friends in London who live in flats furnished mostly by their landlords, I like to live in a place furnished by myself. Although my old flat wasn't particulary big, with all the time I and you-know-who spent at home being all domestic, I just couldn't imagine living in a place that didn't reflect my personality or (peculiar) tastes.

Anyway, having a place furnished by myself and you-know-who and not being willing to depart with some of my precious furniture finds (Eames DAW chair, Swedish 50s cherry wood sideboard, G.O.D. armchair, etc...) meant that I had to ship it all back to Sydney at quite a high cost.

When I was calling around and getting quotes from different moving companies, I settled on this particular relocation company, because, among other things, they stated that it would take 6-8 weeks for my goods to be shipped to Sydney and, subject to Customs and Quarantine processing, it should arrive at my door soon after that.

After donating several loads of clothing, kitchen paraphernalia and assorted bits to Dalston Oxfam, making sure certain plants were adopted by nice people, and selling off the bed and couch to the landlord (two huge pieces I wasn't particularly keen on keeping), I arranged it so that the movers would take the goods from the London flat on 29 September, I would fly out of London on the 30 September, spend 6 weeks in HK and India, and be back in Sydney in November in time for delivery of the shipment. Of course, things didn't go to plan when they emailed me in mid-November to say that my goods had just been loaded onto a ship in the UK!

So, I will now have to wait 13 January - the earliest - before the ship ports in Sydney. Who knows how long Customs and Quarantine will take to inspect the goods before I finally get re-united with my stuff?

I went into lawyer mode and sent a terse complaint letter to the moving company setting out their alleged misrepresentations, the perceived damages and the inconvenience the delay has caused me. Not only do I have to live out of a single suitcase (clothing on high rotation... luckily I packed more than 7 pairs of undies) until then, but I haven't been able to submit my HKU PCLL transcript to the UAC and I've had to purchase things I already have but are currently not in my possession. Plus, it's also the case of me missing my little soft toy friends :-p.

On something completely separate, I was catching a late train last week back from the City and was about to get off at Lindfield station when a guy in a really dapper suit approached me and complimented my top. Hmm... anyway, he asked if it was from London and whether it was from All Saints Spitalfields which I answered in the affirmative. All Saints makes great higher-end High Street casual clothing. I can definitely see a market for the stuff over here and anyone who does bring the brand down to Australia will surely make a killing. For anyone who is interested in ordering something from their website early next year, lemme know... so that I can justify spending GBP25 on shipping!

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