The countdown has begun

Now that we’re back in Toronto, the countdown towards moving home is on. The way it looks now we’ve got less than three weeks left to get everything packed and sorted. And it’s already Wednesday.

Monday and Tuesday were good days, a mix of doing paperwork some voluntary work and sorting out what needs to be done for the move. I started looking into freight and shipping companies and the initial results have been a bit shocking. One quote came in at about $600. Another at $500. One even came in at $4000 which must’ve been completely wrong and goes to show that the online quote generations are hinky. You wouldn’t think that trying to ship home about 25 kg of stuff would be that difficult. Unfortunately it’s not small stuff. There’s a side table and a stuffed leather ottoman in the shape of an elephant, items that don’t really fit into a regular suitcase. Initially I thought we were going to have two carry-on suitcases left behind but I realised we could pack them with the ski boots and ship them home.

As we’re flying business class back to Australia I thought — and I’m sure I’d seen it on the website — we could have three suitcases each weighing up to 23 kg. I then emailed Cathay Pacific to enquire about the excess baggage and to confirm that we have three suitcases each. My heart sank when the response came back that it was only two suitcases each and additional suitcases would cost US$190 each. I have a feeling it is a price we’re just going to have to pay — and may work out cheaper than trying to ship it. There are so many options and so many companies on the Internet that I could use that I’m feeling a bit lost at sea.

Before this spanner was thrown into the works I had checked the mailbox and saw that the Canadian Tax Revenue Agency was inquiring about the tax return I’d submitted earlier this year. Apparently they do not believe the amount out of tax I have paid in Australia is sufficient and they are querying it. I need this like a hole in the head. The frustration is that Canada and Australia do not share the same tax periods. Australia is from July to June while Canada is from January to December. Therefore there is no simple tax assessment from Australia that I can provide them. I’m hoping that what I can provide will be sufficient and they will leave me alone. As you can see today has been not the best day, and added to that it was legs day in the gym. Ugh.

Tuesday, however, was much better. Apart from work and general sorting out, I also went to get my hair cut and the end result came out excellent. Glen was so impressed that he has forgone his usual aversion to haircuts costing more than $10 and asked me to book him into see my hairdresser this Saturday. I’m hoping that when I return to Australia and able to find a hairdresser who can continue with the look I’m trying to develop. Even so it looks greater the moment and I’m all set for this weekend’s pool party.

In addition to great hair we also had a great night on Tuesday. We went to dinner at Salad King with Pete and Royden and then the four of us plus Julian went to see the new movie Spy at the cinemas. This was despite my initial unwillingness to see the film, the poster for which I’d seen in Paris that had made me cringe. I was greatly surprised that it was a lot of fun and I laughed quite a bit.

The apartment is now listed and real estate agents have booked into for viewings. I’ve tried to make the apartment as reasonably tidy as possible. It could do with a good scrub but we are in the process of packing so there is not much we can do about it. Having to wait for people to show up and show them around or else be out while strangers are in the apartment is not fun but a necessity. Speaking of packing nearly two suitcases are already full and we still have a lot of clothes hanging up in the cupboards and a bunch of other stuff to take home. Now that the process has begun I would rather get it done in one fell swoop and be living out of a carry on suitcase for the next couple of weeks.

Even though this procedural side of things is not all that thrilling we have a number of exciting things coming up that will make our final few weeks in Toronto enjoyable and a little bittersweet. We’ve still got to plan our final Canadian trip — New Brunswick for three days — and time is fast running out on that too.

3 Replies to “The countdown has begun”

  1. Stay calm Dan don’t stress😜 this is the worst bit about being expat. We always were left with a pile of things not needed to go to the next assignment, too good to bin, not needed, give away or leave for the next person to take up residence in your apartment. Pay up and ship things out, easiest way and you will be pleased you did when they arrive in Perth. Find out if they pack for you and do they supply packing materials, that may be why one was a lot more expensive than the others. As for the tax man, well you will never win that round. Smile and count to ten. It will all be a bad dream when you are on the flight out with your feet up sipping champagne. 😉 jane x


    1. Thanks Jane 🙂 It’s just the upheaval and the change that I’m finding tricky. And all those little things that you think, should I keep that or should I ditch it? 🙂


    2. Having said that, there’s not much that we’re getting rid of apart from furniture, some clothes we don’t wear, and a few other bits and pieces. Things we’re not that attached to. And we’ve got a house full of stuff to return to anyway.


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