These last weeks since leaving Norway have been pretty intense. I have crossed the River Plate back and forth 3 times, spent countless hours at different public offices on both sides of the river and signed an immense amount of papers. Sometimes alone, sometimes dragging the whole family along since other members have had to give their autographs and pose for pics and provide fingerprints for the various authorities too. But it is all going really good and I am happy that I, for once, was pretty much well prepared for all of it and have therefore been able to rather calmly stand in line, get sent from a to b and back to a for no apparent reason, and wait, wait, and wait some more without going permanently and utterly insane.
My only complaint is that buying a car really sucks. That’s about the only thing I dislike so far. Oh, and the fact that everything, every room, elevator, toilet, bed linen, towel, piece of garment, anything at all, clearly and absolutely HAS TO smell some kind of fake vanilla or strawberry or some disgusting scent. Whoever is selling these odor thingis that are hanging everywhere in this country is making an absolute fortune. Everything smells! Everywhere smells! Other than that we are doing good and doing real progress.
Technical update: we have started all of our residence permits’ paperwork, we have most things set for the arrival of the moving container with our stuff from Norway, our continer home is well into its production and we have looked at more trucks than we can handle so if everything goes as planned we might even soon be the proud owners of a set of temporary ID cards and an almost new truck.
The car/truck issue has been difficult because we are so ignorant to the whole thing, cars are an expensive commodities in Uruguay and we wanted to get a used one, which complicates things a bit more. After looking at as many trucks as we could manage we were finally left to choose between an old Toyota Hilux with tons of kms on it (but apparently Toyota is the best thing you can get and people pay fortunes for them even with more than 200000 kms on them already) or an almost new Nissan (bit too new and bit too fancy, fancier than fancied :). When we tested the Hilux and it turned out to be “crocked”, yes, as in “not straight”, and in addition the guy selling it was not being very helpful, the whole decision became a bit of a no-brainer and an agreement to buy a car we still have not tested was made on the phone on our way to Colonia to grab the boat to B.A. Big decisions are taken FAST. So in two days I will be off on my own to test drive and pretend to check a very little used Nissan Frontier from 2012 with all kinds of extras which we might actually not need on it. But we have seen enough and we need a truck a week ago so unless it turns out to have a hole in the bottom, I’ll make a down payment and start THAT papermill process which will mean one more wheel is rolling!
TnT have been so good at putting up with all the different ways of child torture that I sometimes feel evil. We have dragged them along with us and put them through hours of waiting at different government offices, more hours of being patient at several car dealers’ parking lot and long stretches with no playing and holding them close and under sight all the time. They don’t even complain! Of course we realize that they could be having a bit more fun in their kindergarden for example, but that is not an option and somehow, strangely enough, I wonder whether the fact that they get to be with us does not outweigh the boredom… Plus they do have each other and this is when having twins starts to pay off. And then we get the occasional outburst of bad conscience combined with some spare after-office-hours or some “oh crap, let’s put them to bed later today” and we take them to the Tivoli or some park or something like that so it is not only suffering day in and day out.
There is one particular thing about their behavior that I think needs special mention though; I think they might be developing a bit of a peculiar relationship to shipping containers. And the fact that we have one standing on our land, one on its way from Norway (which they are very aware of contains all their toys, their beds and much more), a future home being constructed from them (which they actually have been taken to see and it looked rather skinny, empty and chilli too) and are often driving along the Rambla past the port of Montevideo or living by the port area in Buenos Aires is not helping much. But I guess we can live with that, no problem.
We have unfortunately only had time to be at our land for half an hour some days ago. It all looks very nice and I wish I could have just stayed there and not have had to rush to Montevideo to look at trucks. It also looks extremely spiny and overgrown so we have tons of work to do there and I think that growing food should not be much of a problem since you cannot distinguish the parts that have been cleared for vegetation a few years ago from the ones who never have been cleared at all… In a way we are actually kind of running out of time because both the moving container with all our stuff and our living container home might just be ready to be delivered towards the end of July and we have way too many bushes, no car, no pillars to set the container on, no water, no sewage, no nada (well, actually i discovered we have foxes). But we have strength and conviction and really want to get started so strangely enough we are neither intimidated nor stressed, at least not too much. This combined with the AMAZING chill and friendly attitude of all but one person during all our Uruguayan experiences so far makes everything possible. Yes, I have to say that it is totally ok to spend 4 hours to get the simplest thing done when the people doing it are so nice, helpful and friendly as they are, it really is. It is impossible to be angry and almost impossible to become impatient. We simply love Uruguayan ways. Maybe not the most efficient all the time, but human and solution oriented like I have never seen before.
So now that most paperwork is rolling or initiated, and that we are done with crossing the river back and forth we are finally crossing over for good. Tomorrow we take the Cacciola with a one-way ticket to Carmelo and start fixing our land ASAP!