Floods, Father-in-Law's and Visas

It's official, fellow Chicagoians. The Expat Mamma is a true Expat.

It's  been quiet here at EM Headquarters... Who am I kidding? It's been fecking hectic, what with the floods, and having the in laws visit all at the same time. Two things that threw us out of any semblance of normality.

Not that normality existed in the first place. We had only been in our a house for a week before those two calamities occurred - on the same night. So no, we had no idea what normal was, then our basement flooded. It was the most I opportune time, as the in laws got to see in no uncertain terms how emotional wretched I can be. They also learned exactly how many adult words this Mamma knows...

So that set us up nicely for their trip. I'm pretty sure my stressed state did little to make the visit exceptionally comfortable for them, but I am grateful for their presence when the shit hit the fan basement. TH (I know you all know his name is Jonathan now, but TH is easier to type) and his dad were excellent at rescuing our things before much damage could be done, and his mum did her best to distract me.

Since that stormy night two weeks ago, it has taken some time to get anywhere with the maintenance team. I actually flew with The Miniatures back to the UK last week, to go and visit with the Embassy and ask nicely if I can live in our damp, smelly house. While I'm here I've staying with my mum in Guernsey, a small island kinda near the UK, but closer to France - with it's own weird money and government.

On the other side of the pond, the in-laws have been fielding maintenance people. Or they have been waiting for maintenance people to not turn up most of the time... I feel a little like I should be there doing this, but I'm glad I'm not. I'd be flipping my biscuits left, right and center - frustrated with the conditions our landlords are making us live in while they drag their feet with repairs. I would be ranting, but it wouldn't get anything done.

The fact that the in laws are there and I'm not is a good thing. Why? My father in law is a retired quantity surveyor, and boy does he know his shit. He also knows how to have a strop in a diplomatic, refined "let's get things done" kind of way.

While our landlord - a corporate opportunist company cashing in on the misfortune of the housing crash, and the consumers who can't afford to buy - has been dragging it's feet in doing anything - be it maintenance, returning calls or even answering calls - Mr Doyle the 1st has been emailing on other than the President of the company.

I admire this dude. The father in law - that is - not the President. After a wordy email, we actually got a response and the director of the Chicago office actually came out! Mr Director talked through all the work that will be done to address the problem, and some work was done - then silence.

A few failed call returns, and unanswered questions later (namely when we will have our drowned washing machine replaced), Mr Doyle the 1st got back onto the email. i tell you what I have learned; if you want to get something done - Check out your rights and legal standing, then spam the money grabbing feckers into submission.

Today, not twenty minutes after FIL spammed three people high up in the company, TH started getting calls explaining exactly what is happening when. The good news is the "when" appears to be this week!

So it's all going on at home. Yes! I can call it home now our visas are ready, waiting for me to collect them, and we are inbound Tuesday next week.

We are officially Chicago residents for at least the next two years. What shall we do first?

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