Plant seeds, add fertilizer

30 Jul

So we’re here now, but our arrival is being dragged out like a William Shatner death scene… which I suppose might be helping keep it from overwhelming us, so I probably shouldn’t complain.  I hear gift horses have halitosis.

Chandra’s WA plates expire next week, so some of the stuff you might usually try to deal with in the tail-end of your moving-in process is instead the prelude for us (no, not Honda Prelude, that was my first car).  Here in VA I’ve noticed they like to do things in person, and require lots of runaround, forms, etc.  Cases in point: they won’t let you do things online, as when they gracefully acknowledge the complete lack of any online listing of state-approved inspection locations for the multiple required inspections, for example.  Instead they show a picture of what the sign looks like, so when you’re driving around your town you know what to look for in the window of the car shop.  Works great if you already live here and know where to check… otherwise, not so much.  The parking permit we needed for the PODs delivery couldn’t be done online or over the phone either, and required a couple hours in city hall, multiple signatures from different departments, and would normally then be mailed to you in a couple weeks.  Please explain to me how this is supposed to be the standard procedure for people moving here; you have to be here to get the permit, which is then mailed to… where, exactly?  When?  Even the Kindergarten registration had to be done in person.

Their in-state tuition rules suck too, which I’m having to pay for big-time; actual time in state residence doesn’t matter, you also have to prove that you did not move to the state with the intent to go to school and get in-state tuition.  Guilty until proven innocent, and having been accepted almost two years before I came, that’d be a hard case to fight.  In many states, I’d be getting in-state tuition my second year, just for having been living there a year.

So here, in order to get new plates, you need to do inspections, fill out forms, prove residency, and get in-state Drivers licenses first- those in turn requiring Passports, Social Security cards, copy of Lease or other proof of in-state residence, etc.  We got the drivers licenses taken care of today, although the real cards won’t be ready for a while.

Does VA really not want more people?  They do seem to make it more of a pain to move here than I remember WA ever being.

We’re staying at an extended-stay hotel suite, which is both cheaper and nicer than most of the straight-out hotels we’ve been in this trip.  No pool or free breakfast, both of which Moon mourns, but having at least one door you can close is great, as is the kitchenette and free laundry.  Even with the suite setup I still sometimes have to take someone outside, so as to not wake the 5yo we’re trying to get to sleep on the fold-out couch in one room, or the other twin who’s starting to fall asleep in the other.

Cruising the hallways

Our free time, as such, is about setting up utilities installations (which can be just as difficult and bureaucratic as the government agencies, which makes me suspect cultural rather than official causes), trying to remember what all to change the addresses and phone numbers for online (and just beginning to memorize the new info after repeated entries on forms), trying to keep up with existing accounts (our between the POD shipment, hotels, gas, etc the AmEx bill this month makes me want to cry) figuring out registration and schedule for my courses (still working on that, thanks to some apparent conflicts in what I was told to do), and otherwise tying up the loose ends of a string we don’t even really have fully in hand, yet.

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One Response to “Plant seeds, add fertilizer”

  1. Pitter July 30, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    Actually, homeland security is making a lot of the car crap etc. more of a pain in all states–so some of what you’re experiencing is federal tinkle down rather than state–although not all of it.

    But you’re getting closer. Really. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not an incoming train.

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