Friday, January 22, 2010

Is it just me...

Every time my father-in-law comes to visit he fills his suitcases, round-trip, with objects for other people. On his way here, they are filled with gifts that people send us. On his way back they are filled with gifts he buys for others and gifts that we send back. He barely has room for his clothes.

In addition, there are always a few random requests to carry various electronics: ipods, iphones, cameras, and the occasional laptop. For close family, I think that is fine. If you are not immediate family, such a request just seems rude to me... Personally, I would rather pay $100 extra than burden my friend's dad or my brother's wife's dad, but that is just me and yes, I do realize that social acceptability for requests has a big cultural component.

Now that we are planning our return to Chile, I know that these issues will come up. I have already made it perfectly clear to my hubs that we will be rejecting any requests to bring back a laptop for anybody. I may even say no to an iphone... We are making a transnational move here people, We will be carrying 2 kids and all the luggage we are alotted and possibly car seats. I will not be carrying anything for anybody. Our very stressful move is not anyone's opportunity of a lifetime to get their dream-anything. I am a mean, nasty witch and I am not sorry about it.

I was totally unprepared for the latest implied request though...

A friend of my husband, who he has grown up with has called a few times recently. The other day he left a message saying he'd like to chat by messenger. He said he had heard we were coming back... expressed his excitement... and started asking about the process and if we were sending our car and such. We started talking about whether ornot it was worth it to ship the car (we had decided that after paying shipping and taxes that it wasn't). He starts talking about a car he is eyeing on ebay (bad sign, my hands start sweating). The only problem of course, is that he has not resided in the US so under some import/export law he cannot buy himself a used car abroad and have it sent to himself. So he is frantically trying to find a way to finagle it before the auction ends and he loses it. Do you see where this is heading?

That is where I hand the computer to my hubs and tell him I am not dealing with it. He hasn't come out and asked, directly, but it is oh so implied. The conversation trailed off and ended and I hoped he would come to his senses...

But it seems he hasn't. I got another message (and I think he just called on the phone) that he wants to chat tonight (I will not be getting on). I looked at the car auction on ebay and it has been sold. All I can say is that he had better not be the buyer. I will FREAK! ...and it will not end well. I am getting all worked up just thinking that he bought it and is going to expect us to help him ship it. I don't even want to go through the work, coordination, and hassle to send my own very-loved car, not to mention all the other stresses and work we have facing us.

Is it just me, or is this just absurdly, preposterously rude? Am I getting too prematurely worked up?


Katy said...

Surely no-one would spend that much before making really really sure that there's have a way to get it here first... (hollow laugh)
Well don't explode, at least not until you get the request for 'free' shipping. You know... since you guys are already bringing that container over and its not quite full yet..

Abby said...

As a good Chilean would say: QUE PATUDO! Seriously?? A CAR? Ugh. The saddest part is that it doesn't surprise me ALL that much. It's amazing the things people ask for here that I would never in a million years think to request.

Danielle said...

Ugg. Sounds like a nightmare. I hope he isn't the buyer. I cant imagine imposing so much on someone moving out of the country!

Lou said...

Oh my god how infuriating!!!I know how you feel. My fiance and I have always had to reserve one suitcase for gifts in our travels back and forth. It gets so annoying after a while.

When I go down is the worst because electronics are cheaper in Canada and the States so I get tons of requests from E´s friends and family to bring stuff back. I don´t mind bringing small things for family back because they are my family but it´s weird when I start getting requests from friends of friends of my fiance lol! I even had this request to go shopping for a friend of E´s and buy certain clothes for him from this store they don´t have in Chile ha ha!

So when´s the moving date?!

Mamacita Chilena said...

Ok, a CAR?!? Are you SERIOUS???????

And yes, it's definitely different if you are coming here on a permanent move rather than being someone who goes back and forth all the time. We traveled to the U.S. 3 times in a 12 month period so I really didn't mind bringing stuff back from friends and friends of friends. The other thing is that since we are photographers we're actually allowed to bring in as many cameras/lenses photography related items as we want, so customs isn't allowed to hassle us. So it's not a big deal. But I can see how traveling with kids and all your life's possessions is a weeeeee bit different situation.

mosey along said...

Absurdly preposterously rude?


(and you are NOT a mean nasty witch!)

Sara said...

Whoa. Hopefully that is not the case. You shall have to keep us informed.

I did bring an Iphone once and then a camera another time for someone, and I do bring random things every once and a while, but I feel like I should charge. jeez. There is always the risk that they will realize it isn't yours and tax you. Fun.

lydia said...

you have MY blood boiling on this one.

i literally did not tell hardly anybody i was even going to the US for this reason. I just waited until the day before my flight and then said "see you next year" as i was leaving hahaha. The one person i slipped and told asked me for pancake mix (which you can find in the imported sectoin of jumbo) and i ended up not bringing it because it weighed 2 prescious pounds.

in the end though, my parents arranged for me to play delivery for a chilean study abroad student staying by my house in MN. i was very very clear they should take weight and space into consideration when buying presents.... and going one way the parents were fairly respectful about that, but coming back OMG. seriously like the biggest possible gifts you could get people. 3 stuffed animals each bigger than my real cat, and tons of heavy stuff like blocks of soap. in the end the stuff took up almost an entire suitcase and i had to buy and transport 2 extra bags (one for my purchases, one for his). i didn't think the whole thing was rude at all, as we'd previously agreed that i would do this, but asking for him to pay would've caused problems in other ways, and i just didn't understand how people couldn't shop being conscious of the fact that i have to transport the stuff.

ugh. your situation really hit a nerve though. let us know if that was him or not. (and if NOT thank god and shut this idea up asap!!!) im crossing my fingers for ya

Eileen said...

the dreaded encargo! It's terrible. I have had people have me running around the city looking for things. And they don't get that it's not like Santiago where, say, all the bike stores are on one street. You have to wander all over heaven and earth to find stuff. Nowadays I tell people to email me the link and I will buy it for them online and they can pay shipping. IF I say yes.

but mostly, I want to say no.

And A CAR?! is he NUTS!? (yes, he is!).

Can't wait to meet you and your family! Even if you don't have a car.

Phoenix said...'re not a witch. You're a mom and wife and you're probably damn busy so you shouldn't have to clear your life and schedule to be other people's Duty Free shops.

I would say no way, no how as well.