a day of business activities (for which we don't get paid)

We arrived in Cayman on a Saturday, EVERYTHING is closed on Sunday, so Monday was our first day to take care of business items.  Here's what we took care of:

Driver's licenses: So apparently the "hurry up and wait" style of conducting a DMV is not confined to the States. This was also the place that we discovered that almost every government agency has someone to open the door for you. That really helped, because I had my hands full with my passport and a spare pen - whew.  But anyway, now we both have Cayman licenses, and are both dissatisfied with the photos, but that's par for the course.

Customs: I've since discovered that I am likely the only expat that shipped anywhere near 15 boxes of personal belongings. One girl packed her whole life into three suitcases! I can't even begin to fathom. Am I really supposed to do without my wedding pictures and summer shoe collection for (at least) two entire years?!  Heaven forbid.  Anyway, the items were shipped weeks ago, and so we had to go down to customs to clear them.  They cleared fine, but the issue of transporting them back to our hotel room (and, of course, later to our chosen apartment) was a dilemma. A partner from my firm offered to rustle up some help among the audit staff, but I'm not sure he had a good concept of what 15 boxes looked like. It even surprised me what a large pallet it was when we cleared the boxes. So (to make a long story quite short), we went the non-free route (I know some of you are questioning whether NS was involved in this transaction at all!) and found a local shipping company to pick them up and haul them to our hotel room.  However, at the time of this writing, they still hadn't arrived, as Tropical Storm #16 dumped buckets of rain on the island, and apparently shippers don't work in rain. Who knew?

Vehicle: Okay so we didn't buy a car on Monday, but we drove by a couple used car lots. We found the prices to be much higher than www.ecaytrade.com (which is much like a Craig's List for Cayman). This was unfortunate because I fell in love with a '97 cream British mini cooper. It was even an automatic (which is essential since I can only deal with so much dyslexic driving.)  Does a mini just scream island living?

Cell phones:  The island is serviced by only two main cell phone companies - LIME and Digicel. The problem is that neither company allows free calls to the other company on basic cell plans.  NS' firm gave him a complimentary Digicel prepaid phone to use during the set-up period, so we went to the Digicel store first. The guys behind the counter must have not been working on commission, as they had no interest in selling to us.  So LIME got our business - their customer service reps were friendly, and the store had nice bright interesting walls. I love a good marketing scheme.  Also, NS got to keep his beloved (jailbroken) iPhone.

Apartments: This topic is a post in and of itself, but I will briefly say that on Monday we looked at one apartment in West Bay that we had viewed online (and nicked-named "Palm Tree Place" based on the furniture and decor.)  We loved the location, but we weren't crazy about the unit.  More on all this later.


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