The Elephant Man

The Elephant Man is a movie about Joseph Merrick, a 19th century Englishman with a congenital defect.

As I understand, the movie has lots of historical inaccuracies. But that is par for the course.

It was an interesting movie, though the DVD print wasn’t good.

I rate The Elephant Man 7/10.

Inglourious Basterds

I love most Tarantino movies, so of course we had to see Inglourious Basterds.

The movie is about a Jewish special forces unit that’s sent to Europe to disrupt and kill Nazis (and scalp them). However, the Nazi intelligence officer who’s on the trail of that unit gets a lot more screen time. Also, there’s a major subplot about Nazi cinema.

Of course, this is a Tarantino movie so there are clever references to all sorts of movie history.

I loved it and rate it 10/10.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Since we have watched all the Harry Potter movies, we saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in the theater.

This movie is better than the last installment. I rate it 7/10.

Siesta Key and Busch Gardens

It is now our family tradition to head to the beach for Memorial Day long weekend.

Since the closest nice beaches are on the Gulf coast of Florida, we decided to go to Sarasota, FL. There we had a lot of fun at Siesta Key Beach, which had nice white sand.

On our way back, we spent a day at Busch Gardens in Tampa. While Michelle was too young for some of the great rollercoasters, we did enjoy quite a few rides.

And now we are planning another trip to Florida.

The Civil War

Recently, I have been reading about and listening to lectures on the US Civil War. So I decided to watch the Ken Burns documentary about the Civil War. I have watched it off and on and in bits and pieces on TV before, but this time I was serious and borrowed the 5-DVD set from the library.

It’s a total of 11 hours. So it took me almost two weeks to watch it but it was worth it. The documentary makes the events of the Civil War alive in a way only a visual medium can.

I rate it 10/10 and recommend it to everyone interested in the United States or history.

Transpack Moving Scam

Last year when we visited Pakistan, we decided we wanted to move our furniture, books and other things that had been at my parents’ for so many years since we have a house now.

My Dad contacted Transpack and they estimated the total volume to be in the range of 5-6 cubic meters and their charges from Islamabad to Atlanta to be $225 per cubic meter.

On packing everything, it turned out to be about 7.2 cubic meters. Their packing was reasonable, though they did pack some heavy books inside the china cabinet which wasn’t a good idea and resulted in one leg of the china cabinet breaking during the move.

Transpack’s Tausif Alvi recommended that it would be expensive for them to ship it to our home and might be better if we arranged the local transport from the warehouse to our home.

Even though Transpack had said that our container would be shipped within a week or so, it took more than 6 weeks for it to reach Karachi and put on a ship. The time from Islamabad to Atlanta was more than 2 months.

Transpack assured us that their invoice covered all the charges and we won’t have to pay anything at the destination except for some minor customs clearance. However, when the container reached the port of New York, I got a bill of $318 covering IT charges, handling, AMS, CDF, port security, and shipping. I contacted Transpack and was told that these charges were my responsibility since these were destination charges. That was not correct since the destination was Atlanta. But Transpack assured us that there won’t be any charges at Atlanta and these were the only charges we would have to pay.

Since our things were now stuck in New York and the argument with Transpack wasn’t going anywhere, I paid the New York charges, even though I had my suspicions about further charges in Atlanta. Of course, in Atlanta, there was more money, $250, to pay to the warehouse.

Since Transpack had promised to pay or reimburse any more charges, we contacted them. They said they would “investigate.” Of course, their investigation showed that the consignee, i.e. me, needed to pay everything and they were not responsible.

In the end, I had to pay 33% more than the original invoice and had to go through a lot of hassle. I don’t know why such moving scams are so common.