Tuesday, June 14, 2011

That which does not kill us...




"That which does not kill me, makes me stronger." - Nietzsche



Here at Asia Vu, we are doing as well as can be expected, living like displaced persons, and hopping from room to room as our house is overrun by movers and packers.  A team of them has swarmed in, wrapping and packing anything that's not nailed down (including Son#2's phone charger, which is possibly the most awful thing that can happen to a teenage boy.)  We have sent off the Air Freight, ( an impossibly small shipping container in which we were supposed to pack everything that we anticipated needing before the Sea Shipment arrives in 3 months:  nothing like trying to see into the future.)  The Sea Shipment is being trundled off as I write this, leaving the remaining 60% of our belongings, which will be packed up and borne away to a storage facility over the course of the next two days.

Naturally, as with all moves - whether across town or across the world - any number of crisis situations have arisen here at the last moment, providing that extra element of panic that heightens the senses and allows one to fully engage in the moment.  The high points of this particular move have included:
  • Inventorying every single @#$%^& thing in our house and its estimated value on a series of spreadsheets, subdivided into 'air freight,' 'sea shipment,' and 'storage' categories. If you are thinking that this is an impossible and overwhelming activity that would test the mettle of even the most patient and saintly individuals, you are correct. Surprisingly,  Mr. Logical and I are still married, although of course we did have  moments of wanting to slit each other's throats an occasional difference of opinion.  
  • a failed coupling on our water main that necessitated cutting off the water to the house.  We are still waiting for the plumber to fit us in, and experiencing all the medieval-style conditions that exist in a house full of people with no access to plumbing. 
  • a call informing us of an 11th-hour Affidavit that would need to be signed, notarized, and presented to the proper authorities before leaving the country in order for Son #1 to continue to be eligible for instate college tuition when he returns (for my non-US readers:  the costs are roughly double for students from out-of-state, and this document ensures Son #1 will remain in the 'in-state' category)
  • An absentee moving van bearing the Sea Shipment container, due at our home at 9am, but which did not arrive until approximately 11:30.  The dispatcher, however, helpfully called us in 15-to-30 minute increments all morning long to assure us that the truck was:  a) somewhere along the way  b) not on the way c) stuck somewhere due to unknown issues d) on the way after all   e) closer than they thought, f) not on the way after all f) really on the way now, g) getting close  h) getting closer  i) nearly there.  
  • the discovery that our new address does not fit in the 'change of address' boxes online.  Still not sure how to deal with this one.  Maybe this will mean no bills for two years.
  • Confusion as to how to deal with Son #1s belongings, which have been subdivided into so many piles that even he has no idea where it all goes.  This has to do with the fact that Son #1 is not flying with us, but will be staying here for a bit longer, the better to enjoy a few weeks of summer with his friends before he leaves for Korea and they leave for University. His belongings have been categorized thusly:  1) things he will need for the next few weeks while he's staying with friends;  2) things he is packing to take on the plane to Korea; 3) things he wants to go to Korea in the Sea Shipment; 4) things he will need for his dormitory room when he returns to go to University, to be stored at his grandparents' house; 5) things to be put in the storage facility for the next two years 6) things he no longer wants/needs and which can be donated, which included -quite rightly, but most painfully - a terrible number of outgrown childhood toys and books which I was in no way prepared to stumble across in the 'discard' heap in the hall...ouch.
So, yeah.  We're kind of like hobos at the moment, living out of a pathetic assortment of bags and backpacks, eating in odd places at random times, sleeping just about anywhere (exhibit A:  Exhausted Son #2, in the flotsam and jetsam of the last room with furniture) and using other people's laundry and plumbing facilities.  So much for that glamorous expat lifestyle...

Mr. Logical's observation:  "At least he's not using the garbage bag as a pillow."

5 comments:

Karen said...

Oh, dear. Funny and sad all at the same time. Carolyne, honey, this is like Toy Story 3....times 3. Repeat after me...I will survive, I will not hurt anyone, I will survive. Then please, for the love of God...have a stiff drink! That's all I got for you.

Karen (who actually has a house full of happy campers tonight. 1 who got her long awaited computer game in the mail and 2 who got good parts in the summer play.)

MsCaroline said...

Thanks, Karen. Took your advice, and a few hours spent with good friends - and a few stiff drinks - have left me in a better frame of mind and ready for whatever tomorrow will bring. So glad to hear about your happy campers - what's the play?

nappy valley girl said...

This all sounds so familiar from our move 2 years ago - dividing the stuff up into 3 different categories, filling in forms, panicking. (Except we didn't do the Air Freight thing, which would have been nice, but we didn't actually have an address in the US to move to, having cleverly decided to find a house upon arrival. So we had to drag 8 suitcases from pillar to post - quite a feat with 2 kids and no car).

But don't worry - this is the worst bit, I reckon. You will be there soon.

MsCaroline said...

Thanks, NVG, I believe you are right. I think things will be considerably better in Seoul - at least I keep telling myself that. I don't how you maintained your sanity, schlepping the suitcases and kids while house-hunting. The only time we have had kids along on the house hunt, it was only one (we left the little one with Nana) and we were only moving to another state, not another country, so we hadn't yet become displaced persons.

Karen said...

Glad you are feeling better...hope it has continued! Things will have to calm down in Seoul, for one thing you will have less "things" to deal with. At least for a while. Gotta ask...are you moving into the apartment right away? What will you do for furniture? I have a mental picture of the 4 of you in that luxurious apartment (at least by my standards) sitting on the floor eating dinner and sleeping in sleeping bags. Say it ain't so!
As for the play...."Mr. Toad's Mad Adventure" or something like that. Based on Wind in the Willows. Josh is the Chief Weasel and Katie is Mole. Can't wait! 6 more days of work, and graduation (at work) is tomorrow. Happy campers are back to grinding their way to the last day of school. 4 more for them!
If I don't get to contact you again before you go...Godspeed, my friend!