Sunday, December 29, 2013

Odds and Ends...

  • We are closing in on our fourth week here in Tbilisi. I'm slowly getting settled in at the job, and I think Deb and the kids are getting settled in at the house. I feel bad for them, I go somewhere each day, while they are stuck at home. Plus, up here in Z-town it is somewhat far away from anyplace. So to get to the store, we have to hitch a ride or take a cab (taking a cab isn't that expensive, it is like 5 Lari or so to get to the local Goodwill - a German supermarket) until our car gets here.
  • Some of our neighbors let us borrow one of their cars this weekend while they are out of town. Deb went to Goodwill yesterday, and today all four of us went to Carrefour at the Tbilisi Mall. I drove, and we survived. Granted it isn't a far drive, but you do have to be aggressive and defensive at the same time while driving here.
  • Carrefour was CRAZY today. We ran in to a few coworkers and the common consensus was it was the craziest people had ever seen. This week you have New Years, Georgian New Years and Georgian Christmas so I'm sure most of the crowds were there doing their last minute shopping. Mason got a little overwhelmed by the crowds (and lack of personal space). The big plus about shopping today was we got our Diplomatic ID's on Friday. By having those, we no longer have to pay VAT on purchases (which is something like 14%). It does save us some money and makes shopping a little cheaper.
  • After our shopping, we walked around the Tbilisi mall and had lunch at a Burger King there. One thing Deb and I noticed about the mall was it seemed a lot of people smoked inside of it (in fact, Deb went to the restroom and two women were in there smoking. They quickly went in to stalls - I guess smoking was not permitted in the restroom - Deb said there were quite a few no smoking signs in there). I've found that smoking is a lot more prevalent here than in the US.
  • Burger King wasn't bad, though I thought the burger was a bit dry. However it was nice to eat a piece of "America". And I was reminded that Europeans typically don't have ice in their drinks, but the soda was cold so it was fine.
  • One thing that has been wearing on us is our UAB shipment. UAB is Unaccompanied Air Baggage. We were allotted about 700lbs of UAB, and we have items such as good pillows, good sheets, our iMac, Drobo etc. Well it has been sitting in Cologne Germany for close to 3 weeks now and no movement. Our UAB was suppose to have been here last Friday, then on Sunday then no one knew. I finally reached out to transportation in DC to find out what was going on, and quickly heard back. They were annoyed that the shipment hadn't arrived yet (they were told it was suppose to arrive on the 20th and had not been notified it had been delayed). The transportation company replied that due to heavy volumes it had been bumped was suppose to arrive yesterday, the 28th. 10 years working with a shipping line has had it's advantages, as I've found the shippers tracking website and have been monitoring the shipment. It is still showing in Cologne. I'm hoping that the site hasn't been updated and it has actually arrived in Tbilisi, but I think it hasn't. I'm going to have to send another email tomorrow inquiring on the status, and if it's not here yet I'm not sure what I'm going to do. We have ocean freight that has already arrived in country and I'm partially expecting it to be delivered here this week. That's pretty sad that ocean freight may beat air freight.


  1. The arrival adjustment is always hit and miss for the accompanying family but quickly goes away as shipments arrive, schools and schedules start and holidays end. As far as the arrival times - it really is a crap shoot. We have learned to be happy when it works out quickly but not to base our happiness on it. Of course, having good pillows and soft sheets arrive does make a lot of smiles happen more easily! Hang in there and Happy 2014!

  2. After making some calls to DC, our UAB escaped Germany and arrived New Years Eve day. GSO was able to expedite the clearance and were able to have it delivered that afternoon. Happy New Years to us!!