Friday, September 14, 2012

The Moving Diaries

In the last six years I've lived in three different countries, as fun as that was/is, that entailed packing and unpacking my life exactly five times in those six years, that part was always a tad less fun.

My first time was exhilarating, confusing and over way too fast. Yeap, still talking about the move. I was fortunate enough to live in the same place all my life up to that point, so it was exciting to go thru the packing exercise: boxes, labels, excel sheets (nerd alert), etc. But it was also confusing because I had no clue what I should take with me and what should I leave behind? Seeing that I was heading to the Godforsaken Frozen Wastelands, I actually ended-up packing way too much irrelevant things. For starters I assumed my clothes are relevant in the Wastelands => false assumption, nothing you own in Egypt can protect your giblets from -20C. I also went overboard with comforters, blankets and covers, my assumption there was I'll be sleeping outdoors most nights, also false. Turns out cold countries have pretty sweet heating systems, so, that's that. Over too fast? Well, I ended-up shipping very few things, so instead of going out by sea, it went on a plane, so within few days of landing I had my stuff.

My second time was way cooler. I was in the zone, I've done that before, I knew what I'm doing. I have two words for you: two bags. I just quit my job and joined the ranks of the bums as a grad student.  It helped that I was moving into a fully-furnished dorm room, but I optimized the hell out of that move, hell I didn't even take a laptop or a phone, I got those when I arrived. Needless to say when you go with the 'bare necessities' move mentality you hit a few snags, the one I remember from that move was an interesting curveball: my credit card got blocked before I bought my phone/laptop, so yeah, it's the 21st century, my card is blocked and I need to call the bank back in Egypt, when was the last time you used a payphone for an international call and had to feed it ya-much coins? That was 2009 for me.

My most recent move was the most interesting, I have to say. Due to a minor snafu I packed my stuff almost three months before I moved, and then due to another snafu, my boxes weren't shipped until a month or so after I moved, and due to another snafu--if you can't see the trend at this point, I sure hope your day job doesn't require you to do, well, any kind of thinking really--my container was "bumped" (that's shipping lingo that I picked up being involved in the global hunt for my container) somewhere in Europe, stupid Dutchies, and so it missed it's cross-Atlantic connection. The multiple snafus meant I eventually got my stuff ~8 months after I parted with them and around ~4 months after I moved. It was interesting because who doesn't enjoy living 8 months out of a suitcase, right? In a strange way, it was. Whenever I realized I didn't have something on me, I either decided to wait for it and adapted to it not being there or ordered it off Amazon. When my things finally arrived (today!), it was interesting to realize that the things I missed most were my books, thinking chair and collection of mementos, everything else is optional.

Interestingly when I was unpacking my kitchenware, I realized that my mom packed for me 4 different bottle openers; I'm guessing that's her subtle way of telling me I have a drinking problem.

For my next move I'd like to do it blindfolded, upside-down in a glass container full of water, Houdini-stlyle.


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