Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Pocket Doors in 15 Easy Steps
Step 1: Find generous Australian J-Van owner who wants to part with pocket doors. Have said owner ship them to Canada, and agree to pay the freight and customs fees etc., around $300.
Step 2: Track the ship ANL WHYALLA as it zig-zags between Singapore and Australia (Freemantle, Melbourne, and Perth), while periodically looking for a missing Malaysia aircraft in the Indian Ocean.
Step 3: After a month of watching the ship online (go nowhere near Vancouver) and being inundated with “Date Older Women” ads say, “this is bullshit” and call the shipping company. Learn that the cargo was transferred in Singapore to the ship ZIM DJIBOUTI, arriving in Vancouver in 3 days!
Step 4: Remember the ship’s name by substituting the words “Zim Djibouti” for “my Sharona” in the Knack’s song of the same name.
Step 5: Drive downtown Monday during lunch to the customs office. Discover that the office has moved, and the address provided by the shipping company is wrong.
Step 6: Drive to the new office (next to a McDonalds, thankfully). Learn that the waybill listed the pockets doors erroneously as “personal effects”.
Step 7: Submit to a free prostate exam by a suspicious customs official. Seriously, the blog helped a lot in illustrating what I was doing. Pay $16 in duty and get a funny piece of paper.
Step 8: Call the shipping company and say, “I have this funny piece of paper.” They say, “fax us the paper, and pay us a $86 handling fee. I said, “Did I mention you sent me to the wrong customs office address.” They said “Yes, pay us $86.” I pay.
Step 9: The shipping company emails me a receipt and a note saying there’s a $30 pickup fee at the bonded warehouse. Also, they start charging me storage on Thursday. I feel like I’m on a cruise.
Step 10: Fit pallet onto roof of Honda Civic – abort. Call dad, and arrange for him and his little van to meet me near bonded warehouse Wednesday.
Step 11: Arrive at bonded warehouse. There’s a hundred trucks running in and out. I’m greeted by a young fellow named “Jeff” with a cast on his left foot. “Achilles?” I ask. “No, forklift ran over my foot.” He adds: “It’s stacked up here. You’re going to have and wait.”
Step 12: I go to the office (actually Bay 18) and pay my $30 fee. The fellow there – “Joe” -- tells me go to the end near the ramp “with your truck.” While he’s telling me this I’m in a chained linked fence kind of cage (it’s a bonded warehouse thing). I’m feeling conspicuous because I’m wearing khaki chinos, oxblood penny loafers and a blue blazer (I came from work). “So this is what it’ll be like when I commit embezzlement and I'm marched off to the pokey,” I say to myself. Meanwhile I’m surrounded by about 20 professional truck drivers, and I get this amazing idea for either a deodorant commercial or a chemical weapon.
Step 13: Wait with others at the ramp for only about 20 minutes. Try to avoid having a forklift run over dad. Package arrives.
Step 14: Recruit idle truck drivers to assist in putting package in dad’s “rig”. In the midst of loading, notice a baseball cap in the van that has “Crackman” emblazoned on the front of it. Choose not to ask.
Step 15: Drive away. Mission completed.