Thursday, July 22, 2010

the beginning, part deux

Other things I've learned about Maine:

1. That whole bottle deposit thing? Naive me thought it was free money for recycling. Nope, you pay that $.05 up front. See point #2 below.

2. Things are just more expensive up here. Especially food. Must be because they have to ship everything in. Well, except those blueberries. But otherwise, must adjust budget.

3. Street signs, at least in Waterville, make no sense. Now, I'm used to street signs identifying the roads to which they run parallel. And, for some signs here that is the case. For others, however, they're posted perpendicular to the road. Why?! I see confusion - and potential new routes? - ahead.

More on The Trip:

Sunday morning I was on the road by 8:45. Now, if my 16-hour trip estimation was correct I would only have 4 more hours to go. I hit a bit of traffic, but nothing too bad. Though, I will note, that once out of Ohio, I was continuously on a turnpike. This cost me over $30 in tolls. Roads should be free. The end.

I arrived at my new place at 12:45 (16 hours FTW):

First floor: All mine.

I then had to rummage around in the garage looking for the key that was left to me. I eventually found it, but it wasn't quite as "easy" as my landlady had described. Nonetheless, I made it in and took a survey of my new place. Yup, just as I remembered it. Then I began lugging in my car full of junk...

Colby had provided me with $1500 for moving expenses, which I was thrilled about. I could hire professional movers! No U-Haul! No loading and then unloading a truck! No relying on friends in Oxford and then begging new colleagues in Waterville to help me! All seemed well until I had a moving estimate done. They quoted me about $2500 for the move. As I am practically without a paycheck from May-end of September, that extra $1000 would be quite the burden. The cost of professional moving is weight x distance. I obviously couldn't alter the distance of the move, but by golly I could alter the weight. So after much purging of my stuff (needed to be done anyway), I packed up all the small and heaving things (e.g., books books books) for the car. I was hoping that this would be enough to bring down the cost, but wouldn't know until my stuff was delivered. More on that later.

After things were in, I decided to run to the store to buy a few food staples so I wouldn't have to eat out. I'd been "homeless" for a little over a week at that point. My belongings left Oxford July 9, but I didn't leave until July 17. Thanks to the kindness of friends (John Paul & Jenny; Dave, Ashley & Dean: THANK YOU!) I was never without a bed, but it's no fun living out a suitcase/car. Anyway, I'd eaten out plenty in the past 10 days and wanted no more of it. Not that I could get much more than just sandwich fixings because my kitchen was otherwise empty, but it was something.

Back "home" (still feels like a vacation), I set to the task of connecting to the interwebs. I was told that my upstairs neighbor would set up a wireless router for the internet. He wasn't home, so I was just searching for random, unsecured wireless signals. They were weak at best and varied as to which signal worked in which room. I had internet, but I seriously hoped that something more reliable was coming along. Can't.Function.Without.Internet.Halp.

My landlady had set up a small TV on a stool for me; very nice of her. Cable (and internet) are included in the rent, so whatever package she got is what I'll have to get used to. She told me it was just the "basic" package but she wasn't sure what channels that included. I have about 20 of the most random combination of channels. There are the networks, PBS, some shopping channels, CSPAN, USA, Animal Planet, a snowy TNT, and a French-speaking channel. French, not Telemundo? Right. I'm near Canada now. Some of them speak French up there. Got it. I watched TV for a bit on the camp chair I brought with me, but that didn't last too long. 

The glassed-in front porch holds 2 futons, so that's where I was to sleep for the night:

Want to visit? I have multiple places for you to sleep!

I made up my bed and set down to watch a movie on my computer. It was actually pretty nice out there; 4 of the windows open up, so there was a breeze. However, back during my senior year of college I learned, simultaneously in 2 separate courses, that most home invasions occur because of unlocked first floor windows. This has made me hyper-vigilant about closing and locking windows at night and when I'm away, as back then, and in every place since, I have lived on the first floor. But comfort won over, and I slept with the windows open. Though you better believe that I pulled down the shades on every single one of the 24 exterior windows. What this accomplishes I don't know. The illusion that no one lives here? No, my car is in the driveway. But regardless, it's what I did. And, obviously, I survived.


  1. Want to take a day trip to Casco Bay? :)

  2. Happy to get details about the trip! I agree about lobster rolls at a fast food place--sounds iffy to me! Can't wait for the next installment.