Tomorrow is moving day. We made the final payment on the new home on Friday morning, got the keys, and exhaled.
It's not totally done: the ovens are coming tomorrow, HOT is coming tomorrow, the refrigerator won't arrive until Monday, some minor details here and there are still pending...but we're almost finished.
The Husband has been packing for over a week. The kitchen was finished in no time -- it's the little knick-knack stuff that has sat around in bowls or on shelves or on top of the cabinet and little-acquisitions-without-a-true-home junk that is hardest to pack. We finally decided to toss it all in a "sort-later" box.
And since nothing is ever simple, we had another TGFY (Thank G-d For Yossi) moment: we made changes to the basic standard condo plan. We periodically checked with the builder's office on the price of these changes and towards the end of the project we were given an approximation of what the changes would cost. We were prepared for this, having set aside the final payment, and estimate the of taxes owing, and about 20% over what the estimated final change costs would be.
The Builder gave us a final figure on the changes that was twice what his secretary told us it would be.
Yossi went through the roof. He has known the builder for almost a decade, and while this man is his father's age, the Builder has a strong liking for Yossi and for Yossi's integrity. Yossi drove to the construction site Friday morning and the two men went back and forth over these costs in voices raised so loudly that I'm sure they were heard in Bethlehem.
Yossi is a sabra, born and bred in Jerusalem. The kablan is a refugee from Iran, and takes no nonsense off of anyone. He does, however, return Yossi's respect for him and after nearly an hour of argument, they reached a compromise: we would pay an additional 6,000 shekels for the changes over what the secretary had estimated.
This is a gift, folks. The error lay with the (now-discharged) former job site supervisor, who apparently agreed to, and then made, many of the changes but failed to note them in the paperwork he submitted to the office. The secretary's estimate was based on only partial information. We truly owe more than we thought we owed.
But for Yossi's personal relationship with this particular builder, and their mutual respect and liking for each other, we would be considerably poorer today.
Tomorrow, the movers come. Almost everything is packed, and those small things which are not can follow later. Our landlord has kindly agreed to allow us to stay another few days to clean out and clean up the apartment, albeit at a pro-rated rent. (Before you conclude he's hard-hearted, remember that our lease is officially over and he could have insisted on another full month's rent).
Mike and Yossi are in charge of the brunt of the move because I'm not going to be around.
As of last week, I am officially an honest woman again, gainfully employed. Through the good graces of our friends, and fellow-olim, Jill and David, I was alerted to the possibility of an employment opportunity near our new home. The pay is good; the work is good; the hours are flexible. I couldn't pass up this opportunity to repair the ravages of sadly depleted savings and retirement portfolios.
But, the bottom line is that we are off line for a short time. I expect to be on-line again shortly, but I suspect that the new job, less free time, and unpacking demands may make blogging something that happens (as it has the last couple of weeks) sporadic for a while. Bear with me, please.