My ETA to Amsterdam is now less than a week. One of the biggest stress factors has been shipping. I’ve gotten a few estimates and it is not cheap, folks. Several times, I went through my stuff saying, “Do I really care enough about this to take it with me?” Or, “It would be better to just buy a new one when I get there than to screw around with packing this up and sending it off.”
I did a lot of math trying to figure this out, and before taxes, custom duties and storage fees, the best price I was able to find for shipping came to approximately $1.70 a pound.
Also, it can take up to two months in storage before I get my stuff. For the essentials, I’d have to re-buy a lot of the stuff in Amsterdam anyway by the time it came in!
Anyway, my nephew works for FedEx, so I asked him if he could help me out. He talked with his boss and said he could. Not only will my things arrive in the Netherlands before I do, we (Coldie and I) ended up saving at the very least $1000. Probably more, since that doesn’t include all the extras when it comes to regular shipping.
So, last night we got the rest of the stuff sent out, it’s all done and I don’t need to worry about it from this side of the pond anymore. As a thank you, I took my nephew and Mom out to his favorite Japanese restaurant, then we shopping and I bought him a couple of things he needed/wanted. He didn’t ask me to and actually, all he really wanted was for me to take him out to dinner. Not even that, his comment was more like, “You owe me a nice lunch.” But it seems woefully inadequate. Because of my back problems, I couldn’t do any lifting or carrying. He handled all of my boxes, loading and unloading them, mostly without help. He trekked all over town with me and pretty much lost two full days to get all of this done. Considering everything, I owe him a great deal.
I don’t want to just hand him money like I was tipping him, but I don’t want to just let it go at that. He’s twenty years old and I’d like to do something else nice for him. A gift certificate seems too unimaginative, but it’s the only other idea that’s come up in my mind for him.