If It Was Easy, More People Would Do It

As of late, the blogging has been light here at Honest Errors because planning and executing a trans-Atlantic move (even a temporary one) requires a lot of attention. As we have prepared for our move to Istanbul, the credit cards are getting a workout, budgeting has become an exercise in hard numbers coupled with many wild-ass guesses, and bank accounts are getting juggled.

We’re renting out our home. (We can’t afford to simply close it up for 10 months.) Renting sounded simple enough but then we realized that we had to make it hospitable to people who are not us. So…

  • We needed to paint the kids’ bedrooms to cover up all the spontaneous artwork scribbled on the walls in marker, crayon, or pen. This also entailed removing wallpaper borders.
  • We needed to paint the study/guest bedroom. This also entailed removing wallpaper borders.
  • We needed to paint the kitchen and breakfast area. This also entailed removing wallpaper borders. (Are you detecting a theme? A previous owner of our house REALLY liked wallpaper borders, a lot.)
  • The towel rack in the downstairs bathroom was nearly falling out of the wall thanks to the way the kids yanked at it.
  • The ceiling fan in our bedroom needed to be replaced because it only spun at the highest speed.
  • The timer on the dryer stopped working over a year and half ago, meaning that when you put clothes in to dry, it would just keep going until you opened the dryer door. So that had to be fixed along with the washer because it had stopped dispensing fabric softener.

That’s just the Home Improvement stuff. We did buy our plane tickets and we have our visas. Though we still need to pack for storage and the handful of things we’ll be able to fit in our suitcases. Many donations to both Goodwill and the local garbage collector have been made to smooth this process.

We still need to sell one of our two cars (First World Problem and there is an ad on Craigslist) not just because we were thinking of getting a new one, but also because it’s expensive to pay to insure two cars in Michigan, especially when you will not be driving either of them. (It did not cost us much less in MI than it did in LA to insure two cars. Not everything is so cheap here.)

Most of these things have already been accomplished. And there are still a handful of things that have yet to be done; mostly packing and cleaning, signing the lease on an apartment in Istanbul, and getting our kids placed in a school. This last one has become an ordeal. Not because of the school, but because of UPS in Istanbul (more on that another day). Apparently, UPS does not run the tightest ship in the shipping business in Turkey.

One major thing I still need to do is learn some Turkish.

I’ve been dutifully doing a lesson via Pimsleur every day now for nearly a month. Trying to repeat those “uuoo”s and “eehhs,” along with all those swallowed and rolled r’s, is stretching my mouth. I’m trying very hard to make the Turkish phrase for “See you tomorrow!” which is “Yarın görüşürüz” not sound like “URINE GURU SHOES!”

Our flight leaves on the 26th. There’s still time to learn some Turkish and do everything else, right?

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14 thoughts on “If It Was Easy, More People Would Do It

  1. Wow that’s a lot to do to get ready! Glad you are making progress. We have a third work vehicle that’s not used much. Our insurance is very low becuase it’s based on how many miles the truck will be driven in a year. They do check the mileage and if we go over, there is an additional charge but since the truck is getting a major engine overhaul it has been parked so no worries. Have you looked into something like that even if its with a different company?

  2. Dammit boy. This sounds like an entry for “Things White People Say”, or “1st World Problems”. Talk to me about wallpaper borders after you’ve spent six months living in a dirt-floored hut in Turkey.

    Oh, and all ceiling fans only work at high speed.

  3. Rich, I am pretty sure you can stop your car insurance while you are gone. Will there be a place for you to swim???
    Laura

    • We could “park” one of the cars but not both, according to our insurance. We did something like that last summer when we went to China. Plus, my wife would like a sedan-type car when we get back. Then I’ll use our other car for driving around town. At least, that’s the plan.

  4. You are so right – it is NOT easy! You will be on a grand adventure, but there is always an element of uncertainty, and a good deal of hard work. Of course it is all worth the effort. I was rereading J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” last night. When I read this, I thought of you!

    “There are no safe paths in this part of the world. Remember you are over the Edge of the Wild now, and in for all sorts of fun wherever you go.”
    ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

  5. All I can say is: All the best to you and your family.
    And I had to Google what a wallpaper border was ;)

    En iyi dileklerimle

  6. For your one car, you can put it into an insurance mode that is non drivable – since you won’t be using it. call your insurance company to check!

  7. Just read the updates! Congratulations on your adventure. If I am right you must be on the other side of the pond already?
    How is it going? BTW I laughed with the “See you tomorrow” sentence hahahaha, I’ve been there and it’s really difficult (in my case learning German) :D

    • Yes. We are in Istanbul and still in the “adjustment” stage. ;)

      Yeah, Turkish is a fun language to learn.

      German always sounds harsh to my ears, but maybe it’s that the guttural pronunciation seems overly precise.

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