9.30.2008

Lost and Found

OK, so I wanted to tell you all about some of the major (and minor) adjustments and observations of our first days in Kyiv, but they are SOOOOO much better with pictures. And the camera paraphernelia has not arrived and/or is not hooked up yet.

So I'll just tell you about our suitcases. (That sounds thrilling, doesn't it. There is a decent story, though...)

We maxed our allowance for luggage - two suitcases per person, fifty pounds each, of the basics needed for being clothed and clean and somewhat fed for the first couple of days. It was something awesome to see, actually.

Anyway, upon arrival in Kyiv, we waited and waited and waited and waited for the baggage carousel to spit out our ten bags. But alas, it only gave us nine. I sat with the children as David retrieved one or two at a time and brought them to us and stacked them around us. (There were no baggage carts to be found...)

So we filed a little claim with Lufthansa for the bag that didn't come and they promised delivery the next day. At this point, I started racking my brain, trying to remember what was in that particular bag and hoping it wasn't totally vital or heartbreaking that I would now never see it again. Because I trust the system here about that much.

The next day, the airline called our friend who had picked us up at the airport and said they would deliver the bag in twenty minutes. At approximately the same time, David was calling their office to find out where the bag was and they told him that it would be after 6:30 p.m. I wasn't going anywhere and indeed stayed home all day, waiting for the delivery tha tcoul dbe in twenty minutes or sometime after 6:30. No one ever came. With a bag or without.

David made a call at about 8 to find out what was going on and was told by the "friendly" woman in the baggage claim office that the bag had been delivered and that the lady to whom the driver delivered was very happy to have it. David explained that it was apparently delivered to a different happy woman than his wife because she was here all day and no one brought the bag to our address.

The lady actually told him that she couldn't help him , because the bag was delivered and signed for, it was no longer her problem. She really did. And I think she really believed what she was saying.

That was when David explained that it was still her problem because it was her job to deliver it to the person it belonged to, not just any person in Kyiv who felt like signing for a bag, that it was the airline who had lost the bag, not us, so until it was in our hands, it was indeed still her problem. He kindly suggested that she find out from the driver exactly where he left the bag and retrieve it from the happy woman who signed for it.

So she gave the driver our phone number and he began calling us. By this time it was nearly ten o'clock. He figured out that he had actually delivered it to our apartment building but to the wrong floor. He told David to go up and knock on the door and see if anyone was home and would give the bag back. David did but no one answered the door for a big American man after 10 p.m., if you can imagine.

So the driver came to the building and himself went up and yelled at the door of the place where he delivered the bag and rang the bell and finally left a note on it, explaining the situation.

Twenty minutes later, after the driver had stopped at our place one more time (ringing the doorbell - again) and left, he called and said that the people upstairs had called him when they read his note (they had been home all the time, but didn't answer the door) and were waiting for David to go up and get the bag.

In the end, the driver seemed to understand that delivering the bag to the wrong people was indeed his problem and was quite helpful (if slightly unorthodox in his methods) and we ended up with all ten of our ten bags.

I'll have to elaborate on customer service some other time, but we laughed a lot about the Lufthansa lady telling us that it was marked delivered and so it wasn't her problem anymore.

***

Calvin starts kindergarten tomorrow. He couldn't be more excited, so maybe I've done a decent enough job of not betraying the knot in my stomach and the lump in my throat. Or the huge problem I have with the idea of all day kindergarten.

The bus picks him up right in front of our apartment in the morning and will drop him off right there late in the afternoon. I'm a little worried just sending him tomorrow, but I can't drive him myself for his first day since we don't have a car yet. I hope he finds his way and that someone will look out for him and that school will be everything he thinks it will be.

8 comments:

Janelle said...

Be sure to tell us about Calvin's day!

Glad you got all of your bags!

Real said...

Your first child in Kindergarten (in a foreign country no less!)--Gird up your loins, fresh courage take. All is well. ((hugs))

NOBODY said...

Oh, I love this post. I think your adventures in Kyiv are going to be SO enjoyable for us. Perhaps not so much for you at times. But if a lost suitcase could be this entertaining, I'm thinking the possibilities are endless.

I loved the big American at 10 at night. And the driver taking matters into his own hands.

All day isn't so bad. Half would definitely be better, but it's not bad. Give it an adjustment time. And make sure he understands that "homeschool" does not equal "play the wii all day"

I hope it all goes well.

Linda said...

Savannah did all day kindergarten... I LOVED IT! It gave her so many more opportunities for learning and made her so much better prepared for first grade... Of course, that's hers, and you're there, and those are two separate events... good luck!

"Knock, knock!" "Nobody's home!!!" "O.K., we'll come back!" "O.K. we might be home later...."

So many memories...

Valerie aka Mamalovelock said...

I hope Calvin's first day goes well and mommy's nerves are calmed.

Nothing like someone telling you that you got your bag! Glad all your belongings are with you now.

Jane @ Amazing Trips said...

I'm so glad that you got your bag. But I'm wishing that I could hold your hand tomorrow when you ship your first born of to the big K.

I have a lump in my throat and I've never even met him!! :) I hope school will be everything that HE thinks it will be, and everything YOU think it will be. Stay well.

Blog O' Beth said...

Woman you are a saint. If my first child was starting kindergarten in a foreign country I would be vomiting. Or home-schooling and then vomiting. Oh my gosh!!! Ok, I'm having a panic attack for you and I don't even know you. Please, please for all this holy and beautiful please tell us how it went.

Helen said...

I am glad u got all bags finally. I am just a little amazed ... if someone brought a suitcase to me which wasn't mine, I'd say so ... hmh ...
I hope Calvin will have a wonderful day at kindergarten!
Looking forward to pics and more stories.
Hugs.