Friday, April 23, 2010

cello cello

One of the more difficult aspects for me is the setback that cello playing has been for Matan. I think he's learned that music is a very social activity for him. This week we've been working on his re-enrollment (re-registration in the school district he's been in since first grade!). Tons of forms. I pleaded for mercy and got it reduced to 5 pages. But getting him back into the symphony orchestra is not simple. He will be auditioning from here in about two weeks. We'll upload a video or send it by email. His cello teacher here stopped coming in January. no notice. said we'd talk. never called back or answered emails. sigh. so Matan's progress has been limited.

In addition, we've had this nagging issue of what do we do with this cello now that we have it? When we bought it in India, we got a seat for it on the plane since that was a pretty inexpensive option for travel. That will not be true going to MN! We have a flight case in MN that, if all goes well, will be coming with Shaked in May. But that is not yet final. If I thought that we'd find someone to buy it or adopt it here, I'd be fine with leaving it here. But so far, no one's been interested (not even the teacher: he didn't respond to that email either). There have been moments when I thought we'll just take it carry-on and see how far we get with it, but after we couldn't even carry-on an umbrella in Nepal, I suspect the cello would stick out a bit more.

So I've been talking to the airlines. Our travel agent took the measurements of the case and came back to me and said, no, it can't go on a plane. what's a cello? (so how exactly did you investigate without knowing what this even is?!).

I went on directly to our airline (dang it, the electricity just went out and the laundry was almost done. now it will take another hour, at least. so much for getting up early and getting it done). The airline we're flying on from here took the measurements and said they'd get back to me. Didn't hear from them for 10 days so I called them back. They said, looks like you can take it on, no oversize fee if it's one of your 2 bags, just let me double check at one of the other locations it will have to pass through. Then he asked, by the way, how is it getting here? I said Singapore Air, and he said, so, how did they handle it?

Well, Singapore Air and I have been corresponding for awhile. first they said talk to the airport, but that's not really Shaked's priority in LA these days. So I kept emailing and they finally answered - what are the dimensions? I repeated the dimensions. The next day, will it have a cello in it? A curious question, I thought, but you know what, for that segment, no. The next day, what does it weigh? I write to MN and get a weight and send it on to them. No word today.

So the only answer we currently have is MN-LA by Fed Ex, around $50. LA-Dhaka -- still looking into it (probably just a oversize bag fee, if anything). Dhaka -- Chicago, here's hoping he was right yesterday and it's good to go. No fee. But since there was that one NO at the beginning, I have to have exact answers (with email letters printed out!) before we set the case in motion from MN. It's way too expensive to lose it at some random check-in clerk who decides it would not be ok today.

(as for the wash, the electricity is out again, but meanwhile the landlord's father said he needs the water supply for the construction work that's going on overhead. so not only did the load get stopped midway through [women's work, I can hear him...] but the pounding on the construction makes me want to be somewhere else all day. so I finished that load by hand, dang, it would have to be sheets and towels, and no wash for the next two days). such is life.

1 comment:

  1. It strikes me as lucky that you are not teaching so you can spend your time dealing with cello cases. Seriously, who would have guessed! Yo Yo Ma goes anywhere in the world to play, surely he takes his cello with him.