Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Homesick? let me count the ways...

Paul started to construct a mental list of all the reasons he was feeling a little homesick, precipitated by... our door being pounded upon by a couple of (really large) burly Chicago police officers at about 4:30am.

First: we can’t get our social security numbers until immigration forwards our paperwork to the social security agency ... and the inability to do anything without a social security number.

Second: me not being able to get a social security number due to the fact that I have to ‘apply’ for permission to work (at a cost of $180), even though the E3 visa we were issued expressly allows me to work.

Third: the fact that our phone isn’t yet connected due to the absence of us having social security numbers.

Fourth: the rigmarole surrounding finding a doctor to give Nicolas his 4 month immunisations - no, we don’t have social security numbers, our health insurance doesn’t begin until April 1st, trying to establish whether our health care cover policy will be recognised by certain medical practices (they each have their preferred cover policies - not necessarily agencies - and there are zillions of these), no we can’t be given a quote for how much immunisations will cost without insurance... perhaps $300... perhaps not.

Fifth: it is so cold, we can’t do too much with the boys in this weather without transport (and it would cost $180 per month to garage a car in our apartment complex)... and the fact that we came from a climate where park visits were possible virtually every day of the year.

Sixth: having no credit history in this country, we are faced with paying a 3 month rental security deposit before even moving into rental accommodation.

Seventh: not being able to establish a credit history without having social security numbers.

Eighth: Luc being able to escape from the apartment - despite roadblocks including a large box and the stroller with its brakes on... and the fact that we came from a house that was safe and secure for the boys.

It was this last point that brought the police officers to our door this morning. Luc had woken, and let himself out sometime through the night. A married couple found him crying and distraught on the 4th floor sometime around 4am. They took him down to building reception where they sat with him for some time until he was retrieved by us. The doorman could not reach us (no, our phone has not yet been connected!), and so the police were called to try and get our attention... AND THEY CERTAINLY DID! Paul thought that by having boys, we could expect a visit from the police at some time through their lives... he didn’t quite expect it at the age of two! Paul thanked the neighbours who found him with a huge box of Godiva chocolates... Luc’s Houdini act looks like costing us a fortune in thank you presents!

Now that building management has received two reports from the doormen about an escaping child, they finally responded to our request for additional security - we now have a chain lock so Luc should not be able to escape anymore. (Paul is already worrying about Luc dragging over a chair to reach the chain...)

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