Friday, June 29, 2012

I Can Has Context?

The truth is, the fact that I'm moving to Denmark hasn't completely sunk in.

Intellectually, I know it.  We've emptied our apartment.  I've picked up my new passport with my married name on it.  We've checked in for our flights online.  My brain has all of the correct information.

And yet... it's a life change that I don't actually have any context for.  So, emotionally, it feels like any other move.

Actually, it feels easier, as I wasn't the one packing up all of our things.  The movers did that (as is often the case with international moves).

I'm in for a bigger culture shock than my brain is allowing me to comprehend at the moment.

We ship off tomorrow.  For tonight, I say...

Farewell, Boston.  Farewell, Cambridge.

Farewell, America.  Don't make a mess of the place while I'm gone.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hurry Up, Wait, Repeat

Here's an update on this post.

Yesterday, I met up with the folks at the passport office.  I think that because every experience I've ever had at the DMV (or RMV) has been miserable and frustrating, even when things went well, I just assume the same will be true of other government agencies.

Not so!

The folks at the passport office were extremely nice and helpful.  Since I didn't actually need my passport yesterday, they are going to have it ready for me Friday afternoon.  No problems at all.  As was explained over the phone, they looked at my passport, marriage license, and flight itinerary explaining that I'm flying out of the country on Saturday, and then they put the expedited application through, and that was that.

Today, though, I had to go to the RMV.  I've been dreading it and putting it off a bit.  Now, they told me over the phone that they could expedite drivers licenses if you could show them your flight itinerary.  Stupid me forgot to bring the print-out the first time, and assumed they could just look at my phone, but after waiting 45 minutes to see someone, I was sent away with nothing.  Off to FedEx I went to re-print my itinerary, then back to the RMV... for another hour-long wait.  When I got to the counter, the girl working was actually really nice, if not the sharpest of tacks (she asked me where Copenhagen was, and looked utterly confused when I said "Denmark"... I assume she wasn't sure where that was either).  Well, she took my itinerary away for a few minutes, only to return to tell me that they can't expedite licenses for international flights, as those require a passport.  They only do it for domestic flights that don't require a passport.  I do wish they'd mentioned that to me when I called and explained my situation.

I did my best to explain that I wouldn't even be at the address on my license after Saturday, and that I need my license to be updated in order to get a AAA International Driving Permit...

The compromise we came to was that, while they can't get me my license before I leave, and they can't mail the new one to Denmark (probably for the best, since they're not sure where it is), they can mail it to my parents.  They, in turn, will mail it to Denmark.

Not ideal, but also not a horrible outcome.

So, everything will be updated eventually, and that's just fine by me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Movers Are Coming! The Movers Are Coming!

My alarm was set for 7am, but I was wide awake starting at 5am.

It's possible that I'm feeling a bit anxious.

Why?  Here's why:

Our movers are set to show up any minute now, so my mind was going a mile a minute trying to make sure we've separated the things we want shipped and can live without for the next 6 weeks from the stuff we're bringing on the plane to have immediately when we get to Denmark.  And also making sure all of that is separated from what we are not bringing at all.

Providing everything goes as planned, we'll have almost nothing left in the apartment by the end of the day other than what we're bringing and what we're donating to charity or giving away.

I've also been anxious about my meeting this morning with the local passport agency.  I believe I have all of my paperwork in order, so hopefully it won't be an issue.  But if they can't issue a new passport with my married name today... I'm honestly not sure what that'll mean.

And change-of-address.  Can't forget to do that.

And try to get my name changed on my license if I can.  Though, if I can't manage that, I'll be fine.

Providing everything works out with the passport office.

You know, I think I'll be really relaxed tomorrow.

Today?  Not so much.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Gators and Their Marshmallow Habits

There were beignets and chicory coffee.

There was gumbo and jambalaya.

There were oysters. Many, many oysters. Raw, fried, and chargrilled.

We drank cocktails in the French Quarter, listen to traditional jazz on Frenchman Street, and went on a swamp tour where our guide fed dozens of alligators with hotdogs and marshmallows.

Our honeymoon in New Orleans is coming to an end, and I think we've managed to at least partially relax.

Though, we did have a day or two of worry with tropical storm Debby indecisively sitting in the Gulf of Mexico. If she'd done what forecasters had originally predicted, she would have hit land in Louisiana on Tuesday. Our flight home is on Tuesday.

On any other trip, an extra day would have been lovely. But our movers show up on Wednesday morning, so not making it home was not an option.

Luckily for us (though unluckily for Florida), Debby shifted to the east, away from us. No need to try to head home early to avoid her wrath.

It's been a great trip to a city that I've wanted to see for 20 years, but my fiancé and I are definitely struggling with the heat and humidity. I'll be glad to get back to a milder Boston and an even milder Copenhagen.

Just five days until we leave the States... y'all.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Two Weeks and Counting

We leave for Denmark two weeks from today.

We've decided on our shipping company, and have been slowly selling off the furniture and other household items that we won't be able to keep.  Electronics, especially, what with the plug/voltage difference.  We have decided to keep out printer/scanner/copier, though.  Mostly because the display is in Danish and we don't know how to change it.  Not much of a market for that here.

I've decided that, as soon as I have my CPR number (like our Social Security number), I will enroll in "full-time" Danish classes.  From what I understand, this means I'd be taking class 4 days a week, for maybe 3-4 hours per day.  My husband predicts that I should surpass him with my Danish within 6 months.  And considering he's fairly conversational in Danish, and has a job in Denmark, that sounds just fine by me.

This will also get me out of the house and meeting people pretty quickly.  However, I believe the Summer vacation is going to stall the start of my classes for a few months.  I'll have to find some other way to get out of the house during the day, as our furniture and whatnot won't arrive for about 6 weeks.

Not much fun sitting around an apartment with almost nothing in it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Expediting and Carlton Dancing

The timing of this move is insane.

If we didn't have our honeymoon coming up, I could easily get everything done in time, but with the honeymoon, we have a week less to pack and get documentation in order.

But boy, do we need this honeymoon.  If we can manage to take our minds off of the move, it'll do us both a lot of good.  "If" being the operative word...

So, if you find yourself having to change your name on all of your identification (due to marriage, or whatever else), but are leaving the country within a few weeks, here are a few helpful things that I have learned:

1.  The US Passport Agencies not only have the ability to expedite getting you your new passport by mail, but if you're really in a crunch you can make an appointment to talk to them in person at the passport agency.  Keep in mind, though, you can't even make the appointment unless you are leaving the country within 14 days (or leaving within 30 days and need a visa as well).  Once at the appointment, you and the agent will discuss options, one of which is actually having them issue a new passport with your updated information that very day.

2.  The RMV (or DMV depending on your state) also has the ability to issue licenses the same day.  Sort of.  The woman I spoke to over the phone (after a good half hour on hold listening to music that made me want to do the Carlton dance) told me that, if you pay an extra fee for expediting, and go to another office, they also have a machine that can cut your new license that very day.  Trouble is... she tells me the machine breaks a lot.  So... there's that.

3.  The folks at the Social Security office are surprisingly nice and helpful!  I expected it to be a lot like waiting at the RMV.  Depressing to sit there, and even more depressing to talk to the agents who obviously hate life and everyone who bothers to show up in theirs.  But, no, the social security folks were lovely!  Though, I didn't ask if they expedite, as my new card with my updated name should arrive well before we leave.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Copenhagen Or Bust!

We thought we would be in America until July or August.

We thought we'd have time for long, drawn out goodbyes and leisurely packing.

Boy, were we wrong.

We've just bought our 1-way plane tickets.  We leave American on June 30th, arriving in Denmark bright and early on the morning of July 1st.

This is it, folks.  After 8 months of posts about waiting to move to Denmark, I'll finally be able to post about being there in person!

It's a crazy week and a half ahead of me, though.  We leave for our honeymoon in New Orleans on the 19th of June, and before that my husband will be in Denmark for a week starting up work there.  That means I've got a week to sort through everything that needs selling or donating, throwing out tons and tons of whatever can't be sold or donated...

And then there's the paperwork.  We just got our marriage certificates a few days ago, so only now can I go get my name legally changed on things like my passport.  Luckily, it turns out that if you are going out of the country within 14 days, you can go directly to a US Passport Agency office, and they can issue you an updated passport the same day.  Thank goodness for that!!

Busy busy.  But VERY excited!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I'm Recommended!

A big THANK YOU to, who have chosen this blog to be among their recommended blogs about Denmark!

If you are a member of InterNations, you can see the brief interview that I did with them and links to a few of my favorite posts HERE (you do need to be an InterNations member to view the page for more than a few seconds).

Monday, June 4, 2012

Who Designed YOUR Cheese Board?

Vows and rings have been exchanged, glasses have been clinked, dancing has been done until we could barely walk.

And this means: I'm officially a married lady!

Our time in America is winding down, and there's still so much to do before the move.

While we wait for the marriage certificates attesting to my plans to take my husband's (!) last name, we're in a bit of a lull.  And since we still don't know when our move date is (it could be a month from now, it could be two months... either way, it's soon), it's tough to know what the next step is.

Looking around our bedroom right now, I find myself looking forward to selling off half (or more) of our stuff.  That bulky dresser that I bought on Craigslist, that tiny television that isn't hooked into anything, those many, many chairs...

Oh, wait... Can't sell the chairs.  They're Arne Jacobsen replications.  Moving to Denmark without them would be a sin!

Truthfully, I don't mind them, but I sill find it amazing how into furniture everyone in Denmark is.  The fact that I know the chair designer, as well as the designer of the cheese board and knife set that I got my husband (!) for Christmas (Georg Jensen, for those keeping score) is still really funny to me.

I expect I'll look back after a few years of living in Copenhagen and wonder why I hadn't been addicted to furniture design all along.