Moving day, not days

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That is a Chinese truck for sure!

Let me begin by saying that I am awed. Awed by how hard-working our 8 movers were. They arrived at our house at 10AM and were done by 3:30. They took a lunch break. No multiple morning and afternoon breaks, one lunch break.  They unloaded 1 1/2 containers of household goods and brought it up on the elevator. I was so glad they were able to use it.  They unpacked all of the boxes with the exception of the office (I don’t even want to think about that). All of our furniture was assembled including the 5 cubicle things we bought from Target before we left, our new bed, guest beds, and leather sofa. Two of them set up the living room with no input from me and it looked great. They were scheduled to be here for 2 days and I believe that this crew single-handedly raised the company’s success rate. I can honestly say that it was the  smoothest move and I look forward to working with them again. Well, not really because it means we’ll be leaving but you get my drift.

Anders was told to make sure that he took the day off  because there would be 15 men here and chaos would reign.  He did a great job and it was the first time he had ever been here either for moving in or out, but it was not necessary. I never once felt over-whelmed, never thought “Make the madness stop” or please just go away. The crew chief spoke English, and most of them understood what we were saying. When I proudly proclaimed the first box was empty they laughed. I, meaning D, did not make up signs as the apartment just ain’t that big and it would have been a waste of paper and time.

Hmmm...does anyone see Anders?

Around 2:00 the trucks were unloaded and everyone was busy unpacking. I asked Anders to start putting our cubicles together. We needed the horizontal surface area to put items as they were unpacked. He put one together and soon enough 5 of the movers were helping him with the rest. They were not obligated to do that as they arrived new and unassembled but without anyone asking them they just dug in. They were put together in no time.

The reunion was a beautiful thing. It has been three months since we last saw our household goods. Like Anders said, “It’s Big Boy Christmas!” He couldn’t have been happier. I got very excited when I found my cookbooks and peanut M&M mug.  The best thing though was finding the little red heart puff  that says I Love You. Andrew won it for me at a bazaar when he was about 5. It has hung in every car since he gave it to me and it’s my cross on the rearview mirror if  you will. I’ve missed it. I gave it to Ben to put in the car and told him how I got it. He did the “awww” thing, it translates easily from Mandarin 😉 I’m not sure where he put it as I have not been out of the house today but it will have place of pride.  I was also thrilled to see my framed photos. I only brought one with me 2 months ago and that was the family photo from Kiersten’s wedding, quite an honor to be the only one chosen dear daughter. Being so far away, the photos take on a new importance.

Lily survived the day by hiding in the cabinet under the sink in our bathroom. She had everything she needed and it was the quietest place in the house. Somehow she managed to hide her face  in between the shampoo and travel medicine bag.  She’s bit like a toddler in that she believes that if she can’t see us, we can’t see her. She emerged after the movers left and was sniffing up a storm, you would have thought she was a bloodhound. When I explained that the worst was over and they would not be returning today as planned I swear she sighed. Like us, she’ll be happier having the things that look and smell familiar. Well things smelling familiar won’t make any difference to Anders or me. 

Even Ben helped out yesterday. Not only did he bring us lunch and dinner, I know we’re totally spoiled, he also made a run to the hardware store and got bolts for our  new bed so it could be assembled. The day before when he was helping me bring up groceries, I know I’m totally spoiled, he asked if everything was going to fit. When he brought us dinner he was impressed that it did. I guess he thinks  Americans practice consumerism as a religion or something, I have no idea why he would think that! I will be honest, as much as I donated before we left Cincinnati (it was a boatload), I was embarrassed several times yesterday. The Chinese work for so little and struggle to provide and we come  with all of our “stuff” in tow and I chastised myself. They certainly never made me feel guilty, it was self-imposed and deservedly so.

We tipped. I know that my fine Finnish friend is cringing but we had to. They worked so hard, so fast, and so efficiently that we would not have been able to sleep if we hadn’t. To us it wasn’t much but it probably doubled their day’s pay and meant a lot to them. After was said our goodbyes and closed the front door I stood there for a moment with my mouth hanging open. I still can’t believe what they accomplished in 4 1/2 hours. I was speechless and that doesn’t happen often enough for my family.

The disaster room.

My kitchen is completely unpacked and organized, foyer is inviting, the living room is set up, looks great and takes advantage of the views, the dining room is just about done, the master bedroom is OK, and our bathroom is functional. I need Anders to move some things when he gets home or it would be done by now. The guest room doesn’t need much work other than putting the bedding on, you visitors don’t get much in that room. The guest bath is the holding area for quite a few things, our clothes are never going to fit, and my office is a complete disaster. I know that I better return to the States with every photo scrapbooked or Anders will never let me buy another scrapping item again!

We leave for vacation next Friday. The apartment will be done because I refuse to come home to unpacked boxes and a disorganized apartment. Besides, I don’t know who is coming to take care of Lily while we’re gone but I certainly don’t want them to think I’m a slacker. 

 4PM – 86°

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About vikarenously

I am an ex-pat living in Guangzhou, China. I am married to the man of my dreams who has indulged my love of travel by working hard enough to snag two international assignments. Oh yes, I also have two amazing children who accompanied us on our first one to Switzerland and are now mature and responsible adults which makes it so easy for us to experience this adventure as empty-nesters. Experience it vicariously with Karen.

2 responses »

  1. Glad it went well. Is the disadvantage that Anders thinks it is always like this? Muir had a similar experience in his new apartment. He now just has to reorganize the cupboards as they unpacked everything and just put it away. As it was the day before yet another trip he was glad to have all the boxes emptied and removed.
    Your office isn’t much different from mine and I didn’t just move!

    • Morning Kim. While it’s fantastic that the movers unpack everything for you it’s irritating that the movers unpack everything for you. You’re right, they are just looking for empty surfaces on which to put your things. That’s OK because they certainly don’t know where I want things. At some point they run out of room and I just ask them to stop. They very kindly open all the boxes and I’m able to put things where they belong as they come out of the box. We were out to dinner with friends last night and Anders was telling them that he was glad he was home because he thought it was a bit frenetic. I politely interjected that it was the best move I’ve ever experienced. Our friends on the other hand did have UGH!

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