Friday, September 17, 2004

A Journey Completed

What do you get when you combine lots of research and planning, more sorting and packing than we care to remember, a "freight forwarding" company and all of its subcontractors, customs officials who always seem to want a different form from the one we filled out last time, and lots of patience? You get a pile of your belongings showing up on your doorstep in England!

Well, ok, they actually show up in the form of an 18-wheeler, largely dedicated to carrying our measley 42 cubic feet, parked on our very own Bek Road (taking up nearly the whole width of the street). "Could ya gi' me a'and?" was the driver's request and so we carried the boxes up our little cul-de-sac and into our home. As we finished, huffing and puffing a bit, I told him our friends were expecting about 30 boxes of book in a few weeks, so maybe we'd see him again!

It's really nice to have our things here with us. We were actually doing pretty well between the things we carried over on the plane in our luggage and the things our dear landlords provided for us at the house. But it was a bit more like camping than living. It also proved quite embarrassing for Crystal at Bible study this week -- allow me to elaborate: She only brought one pair of jeans with her to the UK and it had gotten to be time to wash them, so while they were washing (a long process -- we'll tell you about it sometime soon) she was running around our chilly house in shorts and a t-shirt. She was sharing this story at Bible study and concluded by saying, "So Rob asked me what I was doing and I said, 'Well I don't have any pants!'" A hush fell over the (somewhat) pious group. Amy looked at her 5-year old son to see if he had heard Crystal's impolite remark, hoping he wouldn't add to the embarrassment by saying something himself -- fortunately he hadn't heard. We looked around awkwardly until someone decided to explain: "I assume you mean 'trousers'". You see, in Britain "pants" means "underpants" and "trousers" means "pants". But it's worse than that -- apparently "pants" is a pretty naughty word, almost a curse. I heard one teenager refer to his home networking equipment as a "pants firewall" (meaning cheap, worthless) and a friend told me about a risque political billboard that used the slogan "Pants to you!" Needless to say, it's good to have a few spare pairs of pants around nowadays.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to know you've settled in. We know the feeling of seeing your boxes roll down the street in an 18-wheeler! I am also embarrassed to say we also unknowingly used the word "pants" in a conversation with Brits while in Paris. Needless to say, we laughed for quite some time.
Michele Hand

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is too funny! Keep the funny storied coming.


4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well hello there
i would just like to say i am so pleased that i have been mentioned on the amazing C.W.T.B site and my fire wall really is pants!

oh and dont worry pants is possably the kindest insult there is!

its like saying poo . . its not rude its just clechayed and hilerious he he (oh and i would like to take this point to apoligise for A me being british so spelling everything wrong and B being bad at british and spelling even british words wrong!)

oh and a big shout out to all the barretts friends bk in the big old usa and just to tell u that u are missing a beautifull COLD PANTS!!! TIPICAL BRITICH DAY

10:54 PM  

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