Monday, August 29, 2011

Stalking Our Stuff

I hope all of my  mid-Atlantic and NorthEastern friends and relatives are drying out after Irene and that no one suffered too much wind or water damage.

I am officially a stalker.  Our HHE (household effects) left the Port of Baltimore on July 20th (the same day we left for Bangkok).  Even though we packed out on June 13th, the Government has regulations about not sending HHE until the employee is actually en route to the assignment.  So, our stuff just sat somewhere waiting for us to leave the country.  Prior to our departure, our shipping agent was kind enough to give me the name of the ship (the President Adams) and its estimated date in Bangkok (September 2nd).  In retrospect, I am sure Kevin would say this was both a blessing and a curse. 

Thanks to the miracle that is the internet, I have been able to track (and obsess over) the ship's daily journey online.  The ship first traveled across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Mediterranean Sea and into a port in Greece.  Then, it went on to Port Said at the top of the Suez Canal, through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea, through the Gulf of Aden to the Arabian Sea and into a port in Oman.  After a few days, it continued on to Karachi, Pakistan and arrived in Singapore on August 24th.  Tracking the ship was pretty neat except for the few times I was a bit frantic when it was "lost" (for three days after entering the Suez Canal) or when the tracker was telling me it was an "unknown vessel" (for 4 days near Pakistan). There is nothing that will get your stomach in a knot faster than the suggestion that all of your worldly possessions have gone missing.  Yikes! 

Anyway, once the ship was in Singapore, we began to get a bit excited.  It looked like we would definitely get our stuff on time, and maybe even a bit earlier, as Singapore is just a short sail away.  However, to our dismay, the ship turned around and is now in Columbo, Sri Lanka! Ack!  I don't know if it is coming back this way or if our items were offloaded in Singapore and will arrive in Bangkok by another vessel.  We will just have to be patient (something I am not very good at!) and see what happens.  When we moved to Australia, our HHE were shipped to South Africa and took an additional 4 weeks to arrive to us.  Hopefully, this  time, it will all work out and our stuff will arrive as scheduled.  Fingers crossed. 

Here is a photo of the President Adams.  Maybe one of those containers holds our stuff?!?
I probably shouldn't even tell you this but I am also tracking the shipment of the car we bought from a dealer in Japan... Clearly, I need to find something to do to occupy my time! 

Lest you all think otherwise, I do cook.  Mostly Saturday and Sunday nights.  I love to cook (and think that I am pretty good at it) but without the proper pots and pans, it is a struggle.  I tend to stick with basic meals that don't get me frustrated about our lack of HHE and the fact that I can't find all of the ingredients I need. 

Saturday night, Kevin and I went to a party, Caitlynne had a babysitting job (and Christopher preferred to go with her rather than us) so I was off the hook and didn't have to cook.  Yesterday, I found some "perfectly" ripe avocados and tomatoes at the market so I made one of Kevin's favorites, fresh guacamole.  Avocados, tomatoes, onion, garlic and lime juice.  A sprinkle of salt and pepper.  So delicious! 

I realize some people might not consider that "cooking" but, oh well.  Kevin found some of the Tostitos "scoops" tortilla chips at the Embassy grocery store last week and was quite happy to have those with the guacamole for dinner on Sunday. 

Today, PeePorn made one of my favorite Thai dishes (a very close runner up to Pad Thai).  It is called Som tam (or som tum) and is a shredded green papaya salad.  The "green" just means that it is unripe.  All of the street vendors and restaurants around here sell Som Tam.  The green papaya is shredded and tossed with fresh lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, chilies (you specify how many chilies you want if ordering from a street vendor or in a restaurant), uncooked green beans, a few chopped tomatoes, and some crushed peanuts. If you are really lucky, some dried shrimp will be added.  I cannot tell you how amazing this salad is.  I could eat it night and day.  After we were in Bangkok in January, my friend Gayle, told me about a very authentic Thai restaurant in Miami (for my Miami readers - Asian Fusion on US 1 between 168th and 184th Avenues) and we quickly became regulars there.  If green papaya was available, we would order that salad and it was JUST like we had in Bangkok.  So good. 

We also have some Asian BBQ chicken.
 and chicken fried rice.
I know that I still have to post about Caitlynne's trip to the Rose Garden but I am waiting for her to email me some photos. 

I had to add these photos of the dogs as they were just too cute today!
Sonder has a guilty look and I think he was up to something!
I hope everyone has a great Monday!

3 comments: said...

Oh man... all of your food looks SO good!! I am jealous! Sounds like you guys are having a great time.

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Pedro Padro said...

It is acceptable to stalk your stuff, particularly when you know it’s being shipped thousands of miles across the ocean. After all, you worked hard for those things, so trying to make sure they're safe and secure is understandable. And the good thing about tracking the ship through the internet is that you know instantly where it is and what condition it's in. PEDRO @