This Wednesday, we signed the lease for the house in Millbrae and we get the keys on Sunday for us to move in on Monday.
When I say “move in”, I really mean that we arrange our suitcases into a pile in the new house. We're moving in to an unfurnished house with no other worldly possessions than the clothes we came with.
From what I can see, the Tokyo Express has reached the coast of Nova Scotia but they haven't updated their details since the 21st. I'm assuming that they're still floating and haven't broken apart after hitting an iceberg.
Thursday was a mad dash around a few other bureaucracies. We need to get the girls registered for school. In order to do that, we need to show proof of address that we lived in the local area. If we haven't moved in, how can we do that ?
It's actually quite easy. We went to Millbrae City Hall and registered for water and sewage services. For some reason, we didn't have to show any proof of address. I guess they think that only the actual residents will want to pay to have a load of brown liquid piped away from their house that it's enough to take the $50 deposit.
Once we had a receipt for the address, that was enough for the school to allow us to register the girls. Again, it was more forms. Unfortunately, the girls need to have a few immunisations before they can be accepted into the school. This means that we have to have our medical insurance. More forms.
Even though we live in the area (about 5 minutes walk away from the school) they can't guarantee that Joanna will get into kindergarten. This presents its own difficulties if both Rachel and Joanna need to be at school by 8:30 and Joanna is in a different school a few miles away.
Sam got her ATM card on Thursday. When we signed up for our bank account, we needed to have our photos taken for our cards. I'm not sure what the point of that is. None of the checkout operators have checked the signature on the card. Why would they look at the photo ?
Sam's card had a big sticker on the front saying that she needed to activate the card by calling a 1-866 number. The first thing they asked her for was her SSN. For flip's sake !!! How did she get the flipping bank account in the first flipping place ?
All that this means is that instead of draining our UK bank account, she can drain our US one.
Account draining begins in earnest this weekend as we head towards IKEA to buy some extra furniture. Joanna and Rachel want their own rooms so they need separate beds. Rachel wants a bunk bed with space underneath for a computer and Joanna wants a princess bed. It's highly possible that they'll get the best in inflatable blue vinyl that CostCo has to offer.
As well as furniture, we're going to need something to watch so we might have to go to Fry's again to buy a TV. I'm under strict instructions that if we come away with anything that has a screen size greater than 20 inches then I'm sleeping in the garage.
Important utilities are needed such as gas, electrickery, phone, internet and TV service. I'll let Sam deal with the less important ones and I'll sort out the internet and TV service.
Most tempting at the moment is DSL Extreme because they offer up to 6Mbps and DirecTV for satellite TV. DirecTV will fit receivers in up to 4 rooms for free and provide a DVR (like Sky+). I have to feel comfortable in a house for me to be able to call it my home 🙂