Friday, 30 May 2008

Shipping forecast

I don't know how they do it. Somehow, shoes, clothes, and particularly books, manage to multiply in a positively-rabbitlike manner over the course of just fourteen months.

There's no way Easyjet will let me take this lot on board. Even if I wear Every Item Of Clothing I Own, plus the rollerblades. Imagine how long it'd take me to get through security (possibly slightly quicker than expected if I manage to wear the rollerblades).

Nope, I decided I'd pack up all the heavy things in a nice cardboard box all safely taped-up, and ship it off home to the UK while I relaxed in orange-painted comfort at high altitude with old SqueezyJ.

The traditional Poland to England shipping company is called Eagle Freight or something similar, and their website says they've been carting people's worldly goods between here and Blighty since just after the war (presumably with a cheery wave to my Grandad, who was employed by the British Army to try and cart them back again). Early in the week I sent an email to their UK office. Then I sent another to their Polish office.
No dice.

Now my polski przez telefon isn't as hot as I'd like, but needs must when the devil drives (and on Polish roads you'd never know the difference).
In any case, I find now that if I breathe slowly and concentrate very hard it's actually a lot more understandable than I expected (unfortunately sometimes the slow breathing makes me sound like a pervert).

- Oh... sorry... Pani jest too late for this week's delivery

I resisted the urge to point out that if they'd answered my email in the first place I wouldn't have been. Instead, I took a deep breath and asked if they could recommend someone else.*

Desperately I scrabbled around in boxes and cases for a pencil while she started to read out the number.

Two phonecalls later and I had booked a courier to pick up my box on Monday afternoon. All I had to do was send my details in an email and wait for their confirmation.

I sent the email.

No confirmation.

Thursday morning: still no confirmation.

I called again.

A woman answered.

- Ah... czy Pani ma kłopot z polskim?

- uhh... I replied... 'Czasami...'

I asked to speak to the same guy as before.

- Ale ... *tutting sound and slow sucking in of breath through teeth* Wie Pani Co? On jest bardzo zajęty w tym momencie...

Uh oh.

We continued like that for a while: me trying to spell out my name and address, she trying to put me off.
The whole thing was punctuated by more sucking in of breath and doubtful-sounding 'Wie Pani co...' s

There were a lot of things this Pani nie wiedzała.

Later that day, I got the original confirmation email.

I only hope they don't send me two couriers...

*n.b. this is freelancer instinct. "Can you do it?" No. "Do you know someone who can?". It pays - literally - to be popular...


Piotr said...

I've been doing exactly the same thing for the last 2 days, but different direction - England to Poland, and I really need to do this asap, starting a new job in PL on the 9th.
5 attempts to call 2 companies - failed, 2 emails - no reply. Luckily I managed to get in contact with the 3rd one - Polang, but I have to call the driver tomorrow morning, at least I know the price - peanuts.

Well, maybe not the same thing cause I speak Polish quite well ;)

pinolona said...

Glad you found a carrier finally. And sorry to be off just as you're arriving! Keep reading (although reading what I'm not sure. A trainee interpreter's blog? A blog about how much weirder it is in the home counties than at home? A blog about a wannabe Pole in Blighty?) and I'll see you when I get back!

Anonymous said...

Pinolona your blog will look like that

OK, maybe not...because the damn boiler, the mad obwarzanki lady, the rude polish guys, the silly man in the shop who wanted groszy...