Monday, 26 May 2014

Leaving England gradually: the car insurance guerrida/balagan and the first wave of packing

I'm on half term this week and therefore have a lot of organising and packing to do during this time.

Unfortunately, this coincides with the week before the last GCSE English exam, and so I am also tutoring quite heavily. I have 30 top set controlled assessments to mark, and I have to keep my flat clean and tidy for prospective renters to peruse at their will.

It is 7 weeks to go until I leave and I'm not panicking...yet.

I began by making a list of all the stuff I need to do, delineated by timeframe. It includes various fascinating tasks like informing my mortgage company and contents insurance that I'll be leaving and checking warranties on electrical appliances.

I've begun clearing things out, sorting through stuff into several piles: to throw, to donate, to give to family/friends, to return to my parents' house etc etc.

The initial stages looked like this:

Everything you see in this picture is to go elsewhere. In my usually tidy and clutter-free flat, that's a considerable amount. 

But even that was quite therapeutic; the real hassle came from sorting out my car and car insurance. 

I suppose we're blessed here in Blighty in that routine tasks such as organising and renewing insurance is easy to do: you go where the Russian meerkat tells you to go, or Snoop Dogg or whoever, you input your details et voila - what you will get and how much you'll pay appears. 

But but but - when you're attempting to renew your insurance while also changing the named/main driver of the car, you may as well clear your diary, because you're going to be talking to a lot of different people about a lot of different variables. Where are you now, Aleksandr Orlov? Snoop Dogg - that does NOT make me feel epic!

TPALSS, we've decided to keep my car here 'just in case' (certainly more on this later). We would transfer 'main driver status' to my mum, as we have nowhere to keep it if it was to be declared off road. My mum called her insurance company for a quote to do this. Simple, you may think. However, they refused to add another car to her existing policy. So we called my - usually very chirpy - insurance company. 

There were many dramatic incidents in the hours that followed, such as when mum tried to take the phone off speakerphone and accidentally cut us off. Todd, the Canadian voice who'd been very patiently assisting us for the past hour, was gone forevermore, never to be heard again. 

But then: after two hours of discussing how and why and when and where, we had six separate quotes. something which would have taken two minutes had we done it in two steps - changed the named driver, step one; renewed the insurance, step two - took almost the whole morning. if you're looking to make aliya and keep your car 'just in case', it might be best to aim for your car insurance renewal date. 

But onwards. By chance, a friend from my time in Israel was visiting London, and I journeyed to the centre to visit him. Boris, a German, is the sort of person I would want with me if were ever to invade a small country. In fact, I think we might have discussed this in the past. I can't remember. I highly value with opinion - he is one of the nicest, most intelligent and level headed people I know. He also thinks rationally and systematically.

We discussed my impending - and his intended - aliya  and the potential pitfalls, if we would survive etc, and he told me that he doesn't worry about me going, and that he thinks I'll make it there. 

Like I said, I trust Boris - I really hope he's right. 

As we say at Pesach, 'Leshana ha'ba b'Yerushalayim' - next year in Jerusalem! And I promised the coffee and ice cream would be on me when we met next in Israel. 

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