Kitchen arrival

It’s here!  It’s here!  My kitchen equipment is finally here!!!

After weeks of waiting, weeks of delays, filling out paperwork and refilling out paper work (again and again), my production facility equipment has finally arrived!  It was like Christmas day, only better!

Every day I would send a message to Troy asking for my daily update on where it was and how it was going. Hoping that his return message would say delivery tomorrow.  And it finally happened.  On Wednesday, 1 March, I got the message that the container had cleared the border and would probably be delivered the next day.  On Thursday, I got the call that the container would be leaving for the farm in 30 minutes... uh, ok. I’m out delivering cheese!!  Can you give me a ride and are you sure 30 minutes cuz that’s what I need to finish deliveries!  Yup!

I place my call to Susie and let her know the good news, only to have her tell me, “Right.  I’ve already informed everyone that delivery wouldn’t be today.”  Time to re rally the troops! Unfortunately, Sone, our contractor is away for the weekend so even though my things are coming nothing will be happening with it all until Monday.  Uuuugggghhhhhhh!!!  

So, Troy picks me up and we go to the junction of Kuang Si Road at the radio station to wait for the container truck.  I am so excited, I’m practically bouncing. 30 minutes later, there they are!  We hop in another truck and lead them out to the farm, but because of the road and how fast the truck can go, we beat them by about 20 minutes out to the farm.

Just as I decide to stop standing around at the kitchen door, anxiously waiting, and go wander over to see the buffalo babies, I hear a series of honks.  And they sound like big truck honks.  There it is!!  The truck has just come around the corner…..and now the fun begins.  

Just picture this: there’s a 20’ container on top of an 18 wheeler driving down a narrow twisty road and now he has to make a 120* turn into the farm.  Riiiiggghhhhtttt……  Oh yeah, and watch out for the electrical wires that hang low over the entrance!  The decision is made that it would be easier to back in the truck instead of pulling in.  So he pulls ahead of the gate and about 5 of our team members run out to the road to try and stop traffic.  I say try, because generally in Laos when a vehicle is trying to back out of a spot on to a busy road everyone just drives around the vehicle backing up without a care in the world!  Amazingly enough they seem to respect the enormous truck trying to back in enough to stop and watch.

Twenty minutes later, after a few attempts of back and forth, the driver manages to do it.  And after he pulls in, Susie comes up to me and said that one of the Expat Locals who lives in the area was driving by and stopped and asked her when could he pop in and buy cheese.  Susie’s response, “ See that container?  That’s the kitchen so the timing just got closer!”  Yay!

And now it’s time!  Back that puppy up to the kitchen door and let’s get tucked into it!  The first thing off is a 350 kilo oven for someone else.  Boy is that sucker big!  Luckily, there is a crane truck with us as well and off comes the oven onto another truck.  Behind it, it’s mine!  All mine!  Well, almost all mine.  There are some things in the shipment that belong to other restaurants.  (I will secretly admit that I was actually jumping up and down at points and clapping my hands in happiness.  I hope THAT didn’t get on video!)

There are about 10 people unloading the truck so it is a bit chaotic!  Things are going this way and things are going that way…  All of my stainless steel counters are flat packed so they will all need to be put together.  The dishwasher and the oven come off in big wooden boxes.  I can’t even open the boxes to pet my oven!  Sniff, sniff.  I’m going to have to wait until Monday when Sone comes to install it all.  Luckily the counters are like Ikea put togethers (not really) but they shouldn’t be hard to do.

There are still a few things left to do in the kitchen…  Electricity needs to be placed above the doors so we can install the pest exterminators, the floors need to have holes cut out for the gutter pans, and electricity needs to be placed where the oven goes for my electric oven.  My hope is that all of that, plus putting together all of the counters will take a week.  Then we can order gas and I can get cooking!

There are few keys things that were missing from the order, like my industrial fridges and the industrial freezer, plus my industrial mixer, but mostly everything else is there.  On the flip side, I’ve just gotten the call that the fridges are ready to ship so maybe they will arrive at the same time as rest of the kitchen is put together.

Stay tuned for more farm life activities and excitement!!!