Dreadfully sorry that I haven’t updated the blog, since my last sad panda posting. You are probably all out there thinking that I’m sitting around, clutching my American flag, rushing to McDonalds every chance I get, and slowly sobbing myself to sleep while browsing the photobook my sister made for me before I left. Well, I am thrilled to announce that after one particularly low weekend, everything has changed.
I don’t know if it was simply admitting that I needed help, or just time working its magic, but I’ve found myself newly fascinated by this place, excited to explore, and ready to establish friendships with the expats in my community. I’ve enjoyed movie nights with friends, backyard BBQs, bowling, house parties, sitting at cafes with a Coke, large amounts of window shopping at the expensive malls here, stocking up on groceries at the outdoor market, and a trip to the casino to witness an expat poker night. (Oh and obviously, WORK!) I’ve accepted every invitation that has come my way, which is both exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. I have been keeping myself really busy, which is my favorite thing. Overall let’s just say I’m feeling the love for Sarajevo once again, and I have my new friends here to thank for that.
Enough of that mushy stuff, let’s talk about the fact that I have most of my STUFF now! So I’ve been living without my things since early February, living in hotels, furnished corporate apartments, and finally a large apartment in Sarajevo with a loaner welcome kit to get me by until my stuff arrives. I’ve had access to about half of my clothes and shoes, my coffee maker, my good towels, and a few framed pictures that accompanied me from place to place. I know it seems silly to miss material possessions that much, but I really, truly did miss my belongings! My movie collection, framed pics from my travels, my favorite omelet pan, photo albums, and I think most of all: MY BEDDING.
So in the FS you get a couple different shipments, the first one you should receive is your UAB – unaccompanied air baggage. Typically this is the first box you receive after arrival, and as a single I got 250 pounds. I did just a HORRIBLE job packing up my UAB, completely miscalculated what I could and couldn’t buy here, and I’ll know better for next time. The next shipment is your HHE – household effects, basically up to 7,000lbs of your personal belongings. (Gotta love the government and their acronyms, amiright?) Typically this can take anywhere from a couple weeks to several months to arrive, but luckily the staff here is ON POINT and are so insanely efficient that I was able to get my stuff to Sarajevo and cleared through customs within 3 weeks of arrival. I’m blown away by the staff here and their ability to get. stuff. done.
So the movers showed up yesterday morning (around 6:30am), brought all the boxes upstairs (through the elevator, it is incredible how much easier life is with a damn elevator), unpacked, then took the packing materials away with them when they left. They each got a hefty tip from me, I was blown away by their professionalism and efficiency. So here I am, in my apartment, with all my stuff, and I’m suddenly wondering why I felt the need to bring my high school dance trophies with me. Seemed like a valid decision at the time.
So my goal for the weekend is to get settled, this time not in an emotional sense, but a physical one. Time to figure out how to fill a china cabinet, when you in fact, own zero pieces of china. I’ve also got some wrestling to do with four chair slipcovers I purchased through Amazon, these things are enormous and look crazy sloppy, so I’ve got some tucking and pinning to do in order to get the look I’m going for. Time for cleaning, and sorting, and picture frame placement. Excited to have some familiarity back in my life, so if you’ll excuse me it’s time for a Friends marathon while I make this place look like my own 🙂