I am the only Anglophile in my family. My mother and father have been to England. My brother went with a college buddy simply to play golf there. But I'm really and truly in love with it. I feel like the U.K. is home; even though our family is ten generations removed from it and living on another continent.
So when my company advertised that they needed reps to go to the U.K. to live and work for one year, I was all but planted in the secretary's office, begging that they choose me for this. I had been there twice, I said. I understood the language (some eyebrows raised at this). I could navigate the Tube like nobody's business (shrugged shoulders) and I just loved curry and rice.
Well, I got it. Not because I begged so successfully, but because I was there constantly, like the drone of an aircraft that no one could get off of but wasn't going anywhere.
Now there was the moving of me. I love my car and my first preoccupation was how to get it there in one piece and was it worth the money. I decided positively and buckled down to do the research. International auto Transport, International Auto Shipping, there were few enough of them to look at but the Internet popped out some numbers and I started making my way through them.
When I said where I was going, the shipper that I chose asked me to come in for a face-to-face meeting before going further. Nothing wrong with that, I thought. But I still wondered why. After 3 minutes with the guy I figured it out. I was buried in forms. Form C104A to clear customs; Form C, E386, and E388 in preparation for the registration process. (Not the registration process, mind you, the preparation for it.) Then there was the P11 form and Leaflet V277.
I think these last two were thrown in to even out your gait since you would be leaving the international auto shipping company at a distinct slant, papers tucked under one arm like homework.
Then there were the taxes to pay. And we thought that our gas prices were high. It would take a lot of full gas tanks to make up for the taxes that would float my poor car across the big wetness. The international auto shipper that I was working with was sympathetic but adamant about taking my checks.
I was constantly reminding myself of where I would be in a few weeks. And I spent hours readying my car for this. Back seat empty, trunk, clear, bumpers, erased of all green causes so I could start on new ones; and glove compartment scraped clear of all gum and candy wrappers.
In the end, all I could do was hand the international auto shipper my pile of forms, pat the poor girl on one fender and wish her a safe ride.
She hadn't seen a wax job like that in years.