On Sunday, my second day in Florida, I booked my flight to Buenos Aires on the 2nd and from Santiago to Miami on the 15th. I also started going through the boxes I had packed before leaving for INSEAD. I forgot how much junk I actually own… I have several boxes full of souvenirs from different periods of my life, from birth to elementary school to summer camps. I’m glad I actually kept that stuff, and I hope to be able to enjoy it for the rest of my life. The only problem is that the boxes multiply as the years pass by. I repacked some, and discarded certain insignificant items. I brought down and stacked all the boxes into the entrance hall to make it easier for the movers, and to do a little exercise. I didn’t have the courage to go through my all my clothes, 90% of which should go to the garbage or donation bin. My clothes must have at least 5-7 years on average, so I will need to go shopping before work starts. I actually hate clothes shopping, which is why my gear is so dated.
On Monday, I continued to stack boxes and inspect my furniture. The rep from the moving company estimated that I had about 3000 pounds of stuff. I was also informed that the movers would come on Wednesday around 1pm, which leaves me plenty of time to go to MIA and catch the AA flight to EZE. I booked my return flight to Canada to connect perfectly with the return flight from South America, giving me 3 hours between the two at MIA. On Monday evening, I prepared a meal for George, a friend staying at my parent’s, and his “little brother”, Chad. I prepared salmon as appetizer and a rack of lamb as main. We also had cheese, but didn’t make it all the way to the Key Lime pie.
On Tuesday morning, I slept in before going for ribs at Houston’s with George. Frequent readers will recall my description and picture from the Houston’s ribs around Christmas time last year. World’s best! (Special mention to Baton Rouge, a chain in Canada) I also visited George’s new house near my parent’s. It’s about 20 years old, so he’s renovating it thoroughly. I think it will look very good. I didn’t have very much to do in the afternoon, so I volunteered to prepare dinner. I purchased an unusually large whole yellowfin snapper, which I intended to BBQ. I was concerned that the outside would burn and the inside wouldn’t cook, so I deviated from the typical BBQ technique by placing a layer of restaurant-grade foil on the BBQ and cooking the fish on it. The result was very encouraging. It was very easy to flip the fish around, and it stayed nicely in one piece. I served it straight up, with Milos’s “My Sister’s” Olive oil and capers. The filets came right off the fish, leaving all bones behind. My dad, the yellowfin expert in the family, would have been proud!
On Wednesday, I prepared my backpack for my two-week trip to South America. I didn’t want to do any laundry while over there, so I actually packed a lot (too much). I managed to make it all fit in my 70-liter bag, which is on its last miles. One zipper is completely bust, so I am keeping it closed with safety pins. The movers were right on time, and did a fantastic job of wrapping up my belongings and managed to move everything without damaging neither the merchandise nor the house. It took them just under 3 hours to complete the job of doing the inventory, marking every item and stacking it safely in the truck. I tried to make myself useful around the house by backwashing the almost overflowing pool, but ended up busting the hose and flooding the lawn… At least I learned from my mistake… George prepared yellowfin sandwiches while I completed my last tasks in Florida. Fortunately, I checked my email right before leaving for the airport. Tapan informed Leo and I that he was refused boarding at CDG because he did not hold an American transit visa and would be delayed a few days.
He then drove me to the Tri-Rail station, which goes directly to MIA. It was the first time I ever took the train, and my experience was positive overall. The conductor was hilarious, making jokes every time he came on the microphone. There was a problem with the air conditioning. He started it at every station, but it would stay on for a minute and stop functioning. Florida in the summer is not particularly pleasant without air conditioning, so the train felt more like an oven. Also of note, the ticket controller in the train actually carried a pistol.
At MIA, I checked in for my flight, and watched the TSA officer man-handle my backpack as if it was a bag of manure. I had a slice of Sbarro pizza, a couple of Heinekens, and boarded my flight. I was happy to find out that I had the bulkhead, which gave me nice legroom. As I cracked Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code open, I looked forward to meeting Leo, and eventually Tapan in Buenos Aires.