In the classic novel, Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne, Phileas Fog wagers a £20,000 bet that he can circumnavigate the globe in 80 days or less. Using a combination of steamer ships, trains, and alternative modes of transport, such as an elephant, Fog and his trusted valet battle a herd of bison, a mutiny and hurricanes until they arrive back in London…. well, I can’t tell you the end! You will have to read it yourself. But I will say this, if it was up to me, I would gladly hire Phileas Fog any day to move my belongings from the U.S. to Australia because… they STILL haven’t arrived.
After 101 days my belongings are “in Singapore indefinitely.” No joke! The woman from the moving company used those EXACT words. When I pressed her for more information she told me she had “no idea” when they would be put on a ship to Australia. You might be asking yourself, “Hmmm… I don’t understand. You live in Australia. So why are your things in Singapore?” Yes! My question exactly. Here’s the best part. I looked it up on a map and the distance from Brisbane to Singapore is roughly the same distance as from Brisbane to Hawaii. Let me back up and give you the back story.
When I signed my contract with my moving company in February I was informed my things would go from Texas to… Actually, let’s take a show of hands. If you were going to send my belongings from Texas to the east coast of Australia, how would you do it? Texas to California and then on to OZ? Brilliant... Well, that’s what they told me in February. My shipment would go overland to LA, then it would take 19 days on a ship from LA DIRECTLY to Brisbane. Woo-hoo! Sounded like a great deal to me. Ahh, the best laid plans.
May 18th: Talk to moving company and find out my things are bound for Australia. I am very excited because I figure my things should arrive around the same time as I will (July 1st).
June 11th: Follow up with moving company about shipment. Am informed my belongings left Texas two days prior and are on their way to New York. New York?!?!?! So they are going the LONG WAY around the world? Two nasty emails from yours truly to moving company about how they need to look at a map and 7,100 miles (LA to Brisbane) (and a straight line!) is WAY shorter than the 21,156 miles from New York to Brisbane.
July 3rd: Send another obnoxious email to shipping company asking for the name of the ship which is transporting my belongings. They refuse to give me the name until the third email. Finally discover my belongings are on the YM Maturity. Do a Google search and discover www.vesselfinder.com online.
July 19th: Despite having tracked my ship online daily for the past three weeks, the novelty has not worn off. However, today I see the Maturity is off the coast of Somalia. If this rings some alarm bells for you, you are correct. That’s where Captain Phillips was captured by pirates. Check my insurance statement from the moving company regarding what happens in the even my shipping container is lost at sea.
July 28th: According to vesselfinder.com the Maturity has stopped in Singapore. Strangely enough, it is her final destination. Woa! This is news. What happened to Australia? Promptly contact the shipping company rep who informs me, “The ship was NEVER supposed to stop in Australia. We knew the whole time it was only going to Singapore.” Naturally, I asked when my shipment would leave Singapore, and was told, “We can’t be sure. But it’s two weeks from Singapore here and then of course, your things will sit in Customs and Quarantine for at least two weeks.” Kelly: “So, in other words, even if my things left today they wouldn’t get here before September 1st?” Moving company: “That’s right. But just so you know, they won’t leave today.”
August 25th: Call moving company again for an update. Am informed my belongings are “in Singapore indefinitely.”
So, to recap, this was Phileas Fog’s round the world trip, which he managed to make in 80 days. ALL the way around the world mind you:
This is the one-way trip my belongings are making:
This would have been the trip if my shipment had gone the western route.
So, what have I learned?
1. I have a strong dislike for shipping companies. (I’m not allowed per Phelan family rules to use the word “hate.” Hence, this was the best way I could think to express myself.)
2. I figure by the time my clothes get here they will have gone out of fashion and then cycled back around to be trendy again. Kind of like bellbottoms.
3. I can’t live without a slow cooker.
4. In the event I ever move from Australia I will sell or give away everything. I plan to walk on to the plane with my passport, credit cards and only what I can carry.