poofy thomas....see below for more information about poofy thomas.
WARNING: whining straight ahead
today was insane. i learned, at around one this morning, that i needed to print out another set of shipping labels for our shipment back to the states. we gave away our printer. josh absconded with my jump drive. there is NO fedexKinkos, PackNMail, or UPS store here. in fact, it's pretty darn hard to figure out who offers digital printing services and where. there are kodak store everywhere, but they print only photos.
i found a listing for a store that actually has a web site (my ranting about web sites for businesses in HK will have to wait for another day) AND an upload option, so i hurriedly placed a request. the store requires a 24-hour turn for digital printing. so, i went to japan home with q and bought some writable DVDs. my computer tried for more than an hour to format the damn DVD (in the end, it took my computer 3 hours to inform me it could not format the DVD). so then i pinged josh to see if anyone is in the HK office today (he's in GZ)...nope. he suggests i use the SD card in the (new) camera though...presto-whamo, i have a way to get the document to someone who can print it.
q and i head down to the store that has a web site; it's in sheung wan, which is a hop, skip, and a jump from our apartment. along the way, i pass two or three stores that i pass all the time...they have stacks and stacks and stacks of loose paper (not neatly stacked) in their windows...one is an art/framing shop, one looks to be a stationary store, and the third one also looks to be a stationary store...until i look at the sign that is 10 feet straight up over my head....IT'S A DIGITAL PRINTING STORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! they seem to specialize in cool stuff like photos, cards, and calendars, but they are able to print my labels. wooooooooooooo hooooooooooo. (note...i did not find this store when searching online for digital printing services in the central district of hong kong.)
the shipment was scheduled to be picked up sometime between 1 and 7 p.m. q and i get home at 12:50, and there's a love note from UPS on my door. they were here and gone. i have to reschedule. i hurriedly get q some lunch, and then use a link our mover sent me to reschedule another pickup.
the doorbell rings a little after five, and in walks two UPS guys. they look at my smallest bin and ask if this is the shipment. i look at them like they have three heads, and then gesture to the entire room full of rubbermaid containers and tell them that THIS is the shipment. one young man immediately gets on the phone and confers with his office. after about 5 minutes of back and forth, he gets approval to pick up our shipment. then he rejects my shipping labels...the ones that were so hard to print...the ones that have an RFID and barcode on them that ensure they are shipped together. he, instead, gives me one air bill for all 14 boxes. i made an error on it (entered my home addy in texas instead of the customs point in nevada), and there was some alarm, so i just asked them to come back another day. there was also some extreme confusion about payment. the UPS service here does not accept credit cards from non account holders, so the fact that i had prepaid our mover in the u.s. with a credit card was causing confusion.
the long and short of it is that our apartment still looks like a rubbermaid hatchery. i hope this stuff ships soon, because the natives are restless and keep trying to break into the bins. i already found one liberated toy...poofy thomas....a.k.a. poopy thomas according to q (he can't pronounce his letter f very well).