Monday, May 11, 2009


We have already experienced several American faux pas - I managed to use "pants" to a member of the opposite sex to whom I had just been introduced within 48 hours of our arrival, much to my chagrin. But the best culture clash so far has happened to Himself.

He had called to get our home telephone/broadband service set up, and was totally confused as to why the person he was speaking to kept referring to a "rooter".  As in, "that will include your rooter".

Now, the only context in which I've heard the term rooter used involved a yearly gynecological exam, so that probably wasn't what the gentleman on the line was referring to.

No, in fact, he was saying "router" (as in internet router), but he was pronouncing it in a consistent fashion. For example: "route" in the US, at least where we grew up, was pronounced "root". So router would be rooter, right? Except that we pronounce that word the way it's spelled.

Himself finally got things straight in his own mind, and we're now expecting phone and internet service at home.

In one month. Sigh...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

We're here

I can only describe the last 36 hours as trying. The good news is that we are in London, safely ensconced with friends, with the keys to our new house in our possession. The kids were absolute troopers throughout (with minor meltdowns as called for (or not) by circumstances) and are now sleeping the sleep of the just and extremely jet lagged. The bad news is that we left our lodgings in Boston at 9:45 Friday morning, intending to be in Houston by 5:00 pm, and on our way to Heathrow by 8:00.

Hahahahahahahahahahaha! Or not. By noon yesterday, we had made it to...our gate in Boston. Our lovely US Airways flight was delayed by at least an hour and we actually pushed back from the gate 1.5 hrs post-departure, only to sit on the runway for another 45 min before taking off. They insisted it was weather, but we have our doubts. No matter, our flight from Philly to Houston was also delayed, by at least an hour and forty five minutes, so we were still ok, both for that flight and our flight to London.

Until we arrived in Philly at 3:00 pm and discovered that our flight to Houston had been cancelled.

And the next option was at 6:45 pm. Which is 5:45 pm Houston time. Given a 3+ hr flight,making our BA flight was not going to happen. But all that was made moot by the fact that the next flight that had room for all of us left at 5:30 the next morning.

Say it with me again: hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! 

Thankfully we found the Philly airport play area, and the girls and I hung out for the next two hours while Ironman tried  to negotiate with British Airways to get on the 9:00 o'clock flight from Philly to London. When he finally returned from these negotiations, it turned out he had been on hold for all but about 20 of those 120 minutes with the corporate travel agency trying to get the flights fixed. But he had done it, economy instead of business class, but we'd still get to the UK when we were supposed to. No problem.

Until we got to the BA ticket desk at 7:45 and discovered that the corporate travel agency had rebooked his ticket. And only his ticket. 

Seriously. I'm pretty creative, but even I couldn't make this shit up.

The BA ticket staff, showing the first inkling of competence in this entire fiasco, then proceeded to transfer our four one-way business class tickets from the Houston flight to the Philly flight. No problem. You're done, on your way, enjoy your trip*. So, to recap: by the time we boarded our flight for London we had been in transit for the better part of 12 hours, with only 75 mins max of that being actual flying time. This has got to be some kind of record.

I have left out the rest of the trauma, which has resulted in our checking in for the flight, in which we move several thousand miles away for three years, but have no bags to check.

Yup. No bags. We actually don't know where they are at this point, although US Airways swears up and down that they will find them and get them to us in London.

I'm betting our sea freight (6-8 week shipping time) arrives before those bags do. Anyone want to give me odds?

However, we are here, we were gifted with a beautiful English spring day, and we are on our way. Hooray!

* I am thanking every God there is that Ironman purposely chose to put the passports in his carry on.  I was not so forward thinking about our UK cell phone. So if you're trying to call us, don't bother.