Saturday, May 26, 2012

Blaming the Blinds

When we were finally released from our marathon-jet-lagged-expat-bureaucracy-fun-fest on Wednesday afternoon, all four of us crashed hard at our temporary apartment.  We thought the kids might just sleep through until morning, but they emerged from their room active and hungry about 3 hours later, around 7pm.  We tried to send them back to bed around 10, but they couldn't fall asleep until 1am.

Because we cut our Wednesday errands short due to extreme exhaustion, we had a busy day ahead on Thursday - medical checks and TB tests first thing in the morning, getting phones, and most importantly, activating our bank account so we could pay our first month's rent and deposit with our newly arrived wire transfer of funds.  These and several other tasks-that-are-always-longer-and-more-complicated-than-you-expect must be completed by Friday afternoon.

But what does this have to do with blinds?

All residences in Luxembourg have blinds on the outside of the windows, like this:

And when fully closed, like this...

....they block the light quite thoroughly.  As Pete and I closed the set in our room to go to sleep, we were thrilled.  The room we'd been staying in at Pete's parent's house is very light during the night, and we'd been waking up to the sun around 5 or 5:30am.  But this!  This was so, so, so dark and luxurious!!  We were out instantly.

We didn't bring anything into the room with us, and there was no clock.  Eventually, I noticed a tiny bit of light creeping in around the blinds, but figured it must still be quite early in the morning.  On our previous two trips to Europe (England and Luxembourg), we'd sit up wide awake every night between 2:30 and 3:30am, so I assumed it must still very early.  

Yeah, you know where I'm going with this.

Then a bit later I heard some stirring...maybe people getting up for work?  I finally made Pete go grab the iPad to check the time.  I heard some murmuring from down the hall, something about the iPad needing a few moments to register the correct time.

Then I heard, "Oh crap, it is 3:20pm."

We hustled to the bank as fast as we could, but it closed at 4:30.  Even if we'd not had several driving mishaps along the way, we'd have missed by a long shot.  Miraculously, we were able to go get phones using our US bank account, but they won't be active until Tuesday.  We picked up a few groceries at a market open "late" (8pm), headed home for dinner, and took the kids to a park.

We'll try again tomorrow.  Meanwhile, we feel like complete novice-newbie-traveler idiots.  Jet-lag management fail.

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