Just when I thought that my paperwork and bureaucratic processes was coming to an end…ug. The first day I was here, I applied for social insurance at the Kela office in Turku as a spouse of someone who was eligible. The application was straightforward and I wasn’t worried. But yesterday, exactly a month later, I received a letter in Finnish denying my application. Thanks to some google translate and our supervisor at the university we figured out it was because we hadn’t registered our marriage in Finland. This all comes down to the apostille. Remember that?
My new position is with the Research Unit for the Sociology of Education (RUSE), which is part of the University of Turku, which is within the Pharmacity building, which is part of the Science Park in the city of Turku. Got it? Good. The office is in a mixed building, with some private offices and other research groups affiliated with the university but not a classroom-type building. However, I am super curious as to what goes on at the Functional Foods Forum down the hall!
The office building is called Pharmacity and is part of the Science Park, not technically part of the main campus of the university but close by. I did have to negotiate campus to get my university logon and a key to the building and wandered around like many other students during this first week of school. This part of the city feels more like a central business district than the main city center, which is more shopping and restaurants around the square. Science Park feels more like where people work instead of play. Now including me! In addition to the keys and logons that I was able to get on campus, I also had to get a tax rate calculated by a municipal tax office (helpfully close to Pharmacity) using my contract which is very different than the US system. It took about 25 minutes of waiting and about 2 minutes of actual calculations and official paperwork which I then had to turn into someone in my office.
I’ve spent the last two days working with data in Excel, so nothing to really write home about but still fun nonetheless and I always enjoy being part of a team. The walk from our apartment is about 15 minutes or so and the most important thing is to try to not get hit by a bike. :O
We got the email last week that our residency cards were available for pick up at the Finland Embassy in Ottawa and made an appointment to drive out there on Monday to pick them up. A four+ hour round trip drive for a 2 minute office visit was totally worth it. Now we don’t have to worry about where they are being sent and when they might arrive. These should replace any additional paperwork that we would have had to bring with us to immigration when we land in Finland which is really nice. Of course we both double checked our wallets about 3 or 4 times before leaving Ottawa that we weren’t leaving them anywhere. Also in Ottawa, we stopped at my favorite food truck in Dundonald Park. We each had a Masala Dosa with a fried lentil donut from Dosa, Inc. Soooooo goooood!
The same story over and over! We did some more sorting and packing this past week and weekend. Finally got the suitcases out to see what we needed and Loki promptly claimed one and slept on it all day. We did buy another large suitcase for Tim. I will look for something when I am in the US. Not sure if an outlet or TJ Maxx would have the best prices. A little bit more packing will take place today.
Hard to believe that I leave in 8 days! That is the plan anyway, to leave Montreal early on Monday, June 22 and drive for two days straight to Colorado with all the stuff that I will take to Finland and our kitty. The departure date really depends in part on how organized I am but also on the weather. 28 hours on the road is hard enough without spending long stretches driving through massive rainstorms. The movers come on Tuesday, June 23 to pick up all of our furniture and boxes and then Tim leaves on Thursday, June 25. This last week will super busy and will fly by in a blink of an eye. Monday I will be going to the Canada v Netherlands women’s World Cup game at Olympic Stadium with friends and Tuesday will be my last soccer game with the Bambinos. Of course there will be a going away party later in the week too.
Packing is the worst. The. Worst. I am a highly organized person. I love lists, I love knowing where things are and when to do what. I am an event planner and normally logistics don’t faze me. But packing knowing that I won’t have access to what I am taping into boxes is giving me an organizational headache. Will I need this in the next three weeks? Will I need this in the next year? Ug.
Apparently, I don’t need to do an itemized inventory to move back to the US that I had to do when we packed to move to Canada, but thinking about the logistics of storage, I am still trying to keep a list of what goes in what box. And all this organizing and list making is slowing me down. Three tiny, fast-moving weeks until I hit the road? At least I started, right?
I was watching some Scandal while I was going through some paperwork last night and could have died when Olivia Pope decides to move and of course, even her packing looks perfect. There isn’t anything out of place and no piles of “keep”, “donate”, or “sell”. She does have one open box with some perfect throw pillows peeping out, which I guess counts for “messy”.
Tim and I did a huge purge when we moved to Canada from Indiana, but things accumulate and it is time to go through things again. I had binders full of print outs with recipes or patterns for quilts and other craft projects. I think I have successfully transferred most of those to pinterest that I could find online. I did have to type out a few recipes and add them to my google drive. I also had some quilt patterns from magazines that I scanned and added to my drive as well. I have a few other files that I will shred right before we leave too. Even if you aren’t thinking about moving in the next 5 years, start with your old files! When we left Indiana, I couldn’t believe that I still had bill stubs and bank statements from 5 or 7 years ago. Even if you are moving across the world, it is time to get out the shredder, people. Next up, my closet.
Finding a one euro coin in my building felt auspicious. And then I tried to unravel the world of Apostilles and it felt like 100 steps backwards. Warning, you might be bored by in-depth coverage of government paperwork, but trust me, this condensed version is 1/1,000 as painful as the real time.
I lied. Apparently Mayflower and United are still different companies in the US, but in Canada they are the same. Anyway, they work with the same local company, Martel Express, that we worked with when we moved here from Indiana. They were easy to work with then and have been most responsive. They gave us a reasonable estimate, which is almost exactly what we paid to move here. I guess that makes sense, I was just worried about some crazy number. We now have a reservation for them to pick up all of our stuff on Tuesday, June 23. Last step on that front is to call them a few days before to get the exact time. I am glad that is crossed off the list. Now on to box hunting and then the packing can begin.
Today we drove from Montreal to Ottawa for our required visit to the Finnish Embassy. As legal residents of Canada, we were allowed to go to the embassy in Canada which is by far the closest for us. The embassy is tiny, and I guess I’ve never been to an embassy before so I didn’t know what to expect. Instead of being a separate building, it was an office in a large downtown building. There were no security checks, but we did have to get buzzed into the office, and then all transactions took place behind glass.