Relatively… a lazy day.

It has been a bit more relaxed today, we had a good first nights sleep in the apartment, and woke late by this weeks standards! I then had a cold shower, and Marcela went round to Mum\’s for a hot one…coward! While Marcela was away I decided to put her desk and chair together, and to be honest it was a pleasure, I think it is the first time I have had flat-pack instructions that made sense, and every part was in the box, clearly labelled!

I also tried to ring the UK, but kept getting an engaged tone, when Marcela returned, she rang the phone company, and international calling has to be activated, and will take twenty four hours!

Marcela then prepared a lovely lunch, while she was doing that, I brushed through the house, we then changed and went off to visit her nephew who had a hernia operation this morning, but he appears to have had no after effects, and other than being a bit groggy, from the anaesthetic, he was his usual cheeky self.

We then went shopping again! but this time only two bags of goods, much more civilised!

No let up!

Marcela\’s Mum, was not very well this morning, and after an early visit to the Hospital and her Doctor, she was told to stop the diet, as it was not good for her… that has goaded Marcela into going astray, so it looks as if we will either have to find another diet, or give up, two out of three feeling unwell, is not good, especially when I have only been here a week.

The technicians arrived this morning on their motorbikes, and installed the internet cabling, and cable TV, all the equipment carried in rucksacks. I then brought all my cases round to the apartment, and after lunch, we brought some of Marcela\’s clothes round, then Maria, who was feeling a little better, wandered round, and after sorting out the rest of our kitchen bits and pieces, the three of us went off shopping, I bought a few more tools including a cheap drill, and a wrench, to install the washing machine, and put up some hooks, we bought a desk and chair to, so Marcela can get to work again, it looks as if I will have to get used to flat-pack again!!
Back home, and food in the apartment put away, Marcela took her Mum home, and whilst out, there was a knock at the door, and two men arrived to fix a faulty toilet cistern, the Boss, spoke excellent English, having been in the States for twelve years, and we had a long conversation, during which he saw the washing machine standing in the middle of the floor, and offered to fit it, which he did, and refused to take any money for doing it, well that is one job completed, and I didn\’t even break into a sweat. We pointed out a few small jobs that needed fixing, and he promised to return at the beginning of next week.
Then it was shower time… Marcela was first, and the first call was to establish that the water was cold,  there are two showers in the apartment, the en-suite is cold water only, the other, downstairs is of a kind I have never seen before, primitive, effective, and damn dangerous, it is an electric shower head, which is bolted on to the water supply pipe, and an electric lead, taken from the head, to the power socket, or what we would call the shaver point.  The second call, was for a smell of burning, the plug was red hot and the socket melting, so I yanked it out by the cable. That will be another call to the Agent, and meant I had another cold shower!
Despite these problems, the apartment is taking shape now, and feeling more like a home, it will certainly surfice until we are in a position to buy our own place.
There are many differences in culture, and some will take some getting used to, but I already feel at home here… I will describe some of these differences from time to time. One very noticeable difference here is how every one, loves, and wants to support the Emergency Services, well I presume they do, because so many vehicles of all shapes and sizes have blue lights fitted, front, back, underneath, flashing, static, LED\’s, you name it, they have fitted it, I think it is rather touching!!  Another, I have never seen before, is that milk is supplied in plastic bags, you can get cartons, but the majority seem to buy the bags of milk, you can buy a special plastic box to stand it in, it certainly reduces the space in the waste bins.
Well… tomorrow is another day.

Shop til you drop!!!

This morning, Marcela was up at 5am, to go off for an early meeting, so I ended up getting up at 6.45am myself, after breakfast, I had to hang around until 10am waiting to see if I received a call confirming delivery of the washing machine, as none came, I walked round to the apartment, and started on the final cleaning session, and sure enough, in the middle of it all the machine arrived.

Three young lads, humped the machine upstairs and started chatting away to me, so I asked them to slow down, which they did, and one of them said he spoke a little English, what he could speak was very good, we had a laugh, and after signing for delivery, they left.
I then finished my cleaning, and shortly afterwards, Marcela turned up, and declared that the diet was over for today at least, and so we went home, where I showered, and changed, and we went out for lunch. After which, things became serious again, because if we are going to move into the apartment tomorrow, then we had some serious shopping to do. As those who know me, will be aware, I hate shopping, I cannot think of anything more, that I rather not be doing. If I go to the shops, I have my list, buy what I want, and leave, job done, but not if you go shopping with Marcela! ha!ha!
Eventually, with two overloaded trolleys, we made it back to the car, and packed everything in, and dropped it off at the apartment before going home. On arrival I found that I was even more popular, because Marcela\’s Mum, had also been on the diet with us, and with the sudden change, she needed DinoRod, Oh Dear…!
Tomorrow morning is another early start, as we have to be at the apartment by 7.20pm in case the telephone company arrive to connect the internet.

Cleaning Day!

We had an early start, as the telephone company rang last night to say they would be at the apartment any time from 7.20am, and sure enough, as we walked up to the entrance gate, they pulled up behind us. The line was checked, and found to be in order, so we were given a number, Marcela signed the contract, because until I receive my Foreigners residency card, I can not sign for anything! We we then told that the line would be activated shortly afterwards, which it was.

Having had a closer look around the apartment we had found that it had only been given a quick once over, even though four people had been there all day. So armed with rubber gloves, and plenty of cleaning powder, which I can only describe as being the same as Vim, for those of you old enough to remember it! we set about scrubbing the place.

We then had to stop, as the sofa unit and bed arrived, and again later when the fridgefreezer arrived, we then went home for lunch, returning to start again, this time helped by Maria, who had returned from her work.
We packed up just after 6.30pm, and I was whacked, there is only a little bit left to do, I will finish that in the morning whilst Marcela is at a business meeting, I have got to be there to accept the washing machine, and then on Friday, hopefully the internet will be turned on, and we will move in.

Another manic day!

This morning, I spent time catching up with some clerical work, and then finished designing and printing the Wedding Invitations and envelopes, most of the work had been done by Marcela\’s sister,Sandra, before I arrived, we just had to make a few alterations to get it into my software program, and then print them off… all ten of them, because in Colombia, the Invitation, goes to the whole extended family unlike in the UK.

After lunch, we set off again to the shops, I\’ll be glad when this is over, it is a never ending job, starting from scratch, and shopping, unless for tools, has never been my favourite pastime! Today, we have bought the Fridgefreezer, Washing machine, and kitchen equipment, the first two are being delivered tomorrow, so it looks as if I will be at the apartment all day, it will be interesting in the morning, my first encounter with Security… I hope they let me in!

We then went back to the furniture store, and paid the balance for the items bought there, the bed and sofa are being delivered tomorrow, but the dining suite next week, as we wanted non-stock chairs!

By the time we had returned home, it was dark, belting down with rain, following a violent thunder storm, (which has not cooled off the temperature one bit), and I was shattered. So we have unloaded the car for the night, had some dinner, and that is it for today!

When will things slow down!

Saturday, we went off hunting for the computer printer again, Marcela took me to what I am sure will be my favourite store over here, Home Centre, tools at every turn, but I have resisted the temptation so far, because I am still getting used to the value of the peso, and some things are very expensive. We went from store to store, and eventually came home with the printer, and phones to put in the apartment.

Yesterday, I thought being Sunday, would be a day of rest… think again! Marcela, her Mum, and I made the decision that we we would start our diet today (Monday), so we spent hours both making lists for things to buy for the diet and also for the apartment, then Marcela and I went off to the Supermarket to buy food in for the diet. After lunch Marcela and I were whacked and had a siesta, missing Sandra and family visiting.

On waking, it was off to the Commercial Centre, with Maria (Marcela\’s mum), and we found an electric plancher, which was something I would not be without for cooking, but here they are a lot more expensive than Spain, We also bought some more bits for the diet, and went off for a big bowl of icecream, before having to abstain!  

This morning, we set off about 9am, after a couple of other calls we went to drop my passport off, at the Office dealing with my visa, to be told that now, they were having to redo some of the documents, as the Ministry had changed the format, and we would have to go back to the Notary to have them authorised… I was ready to blow my stack, there was no way that had happened without warning, it was negligence on the part of the company, and to top it off, they said they had sent emails last night and tried the house phone this morning to forewarn us, funny that when we checked later, there were neither emails, or missed phone calls.

We left the Office, and had to rush into the City Centre, as Marcela had an appointment, we then went to another Notary, had the forms endorsed, and then returned and dropped the forms and my passport off at the Office, and now hope that my visa will appear in due course.

We also spent some time trying to find somewhere to send a fax to the Company in Spain dealing with the export of my belongings, but apparently Companies are not able to fax outside the country, why?… I have no idea. I have ended up having to email my credit card details, and hope they are not intercepted.

On the way home, we stopped at a furniture shop, where Marcela knows the owners, and we have purchased a bed ( big enough for now, but ideal for the apartment, eventually will be a guest bed) a dining room suite, and a corner sofa unit, tomorrow we will look for a fridge freezer and washing machine, then we will have the basics to get started.

From there we went on, and paid for the apartment for six months, and recieved a key, so on leaving the office, we immediately had a couple more cut. Then it was back home, by which time it was nearly dark.

I then christened the plancher and cooked the tea, after which, it was time to do some work on the computer.

I had an email to say there has been a slight delay in the sale of my Spanish house, due to a cock up in the paperwork by the Bank, fortunately Andrew has resolved that, as my papers were in order, they will have to have the new papers registered, which will take a couple of weeks, before going back to value the house!

And it all starts again tomorrow…

It is the same where ever you go!!!

After breakfast, Marcela and I walked round to see the apartment, it was still filthy, and Marcela said that she would not sign the contract until it had been cleaned, but it is in a reasonable location, with some nice views, in a gated community, and will be fine for six months.

I should have known better, nothing is easy where ever you are. We rang the company dealing with my visa, and I was given a one o\’clock appointment, on arrival, I do not think they had even looked at the documents I had sent over previously, and they certainly had not prepared the paperwork, so we were there for a while. I was then sent off to get a set of photos, and get all the documents authorised at the Notary.

I have to admit that the Notary system here is far more efficient than in Spain, and extremely quick, but no shortcuts on requirements. Whilst we were out, we went for lunch, and then returned to hand over the completed documents for my visa, but the Security could get no reply from the Office, so it ended up we had to ring the company, to ask them to contact Security to let us in!!!

We then went off shopping for a computer printer, but so far, we have failed to find one that satifies both our needs, so we will try again today.

Back home, I received an email, to say that the visa Company should have taken my passport from me, to have the visa stamp entered. Without going into detail, I have let them know, that I am unhappy with their service.

In the evening we received a call to say that Marcela could go and sign the contract for the apartment, so we walked all of two minutes, around the corner, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the apartment had been cleaned up, and will do fine as a temporary home, and I think Marcela\’s Mum will be a regular visitor along with Marcela\’s nephew because we have use of the communal swimming pool!!!! small but very clean.

This morning Marcela has contacted the phone company, and they will come on Tuesday to install the phone, internet and satellite TV, that is efficient!!

A new beginning!

I left Cadiar at 4am yesterday, and arrived in Bello at 1.30am Spanish time, (7.30pm Colombian). The trip over was uneventful, there was as short delay at Madrid, but that time was made up on route, however I did not get much sleep, the plane was full, and there were plenty of crying babies!

I was met at Medellin Airport by Marcela and her brother-in-law Oscar, and back at the house, Maria (Marcela\’s mother), along with her sister Sandra, and nephew Sebastian, were all waiting, with belated birthday celebrations, what a lovely welcome and a great surprise!

After a good night\’s sleep, it is time to start getting busy again, hopefully we are moving into a rental apartment nearby, next week. My main priority now, it to organise the final arrangements for my Visa, which hopefully will get underway later today.

What don\’t I miss at the moment… the cold… it is lovely and warm here! and what am I most looking forward to… my new life with Marcela!

Ready to go!

I didn\’t sleep that well, last night, and gave up at 6.30am, so now the kitchen is clean, everything packed, and most Good-byes said, I am a little sad that neither of my neighbours are at home, but I have left messages for them with another Spanish friend.

Everything except my computer has been dismantled, and that will be done, as soon as I have spoken with Marcela this afternoon.

My alarm has been set for 3.15am, and then it is Colombia, here I come!! So I will sign off from Spain, and my next entry will be once I am up and running in Medellin.

Time is running out…

This morning, I was camped at the door of the Dentist when he opened, he gave me an appointment for mid-day, I returned and he has done some work, hopefully there will be no problem, but until the anaesthetic has worn off, I will not know.

I went back to the Farmacia yesterday, and they said I coulñd buy more of my tablets, but they would have to order them in, and so this morning, I called in, and bought two more months worth of tablets to keep me going, so that is another worry out of the way.

After my Dental appointment I had to rush home, because Andrew was calling, as he has Power of Attorney  for me, and then at 1pm José was calling with an update. When José arrived, he did not have much time, as he had a funeral to deal with, however I introduced him to Andrew, and he is now happy to deal with him, he then said, that the Bank were coming round to value the house tomorrow, but now  I have told him when I leave, they might contact Andrew!!