Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Tale of Two Movers and Other Disasters

I realize that when I married Hubby I was basically agreeing to be a gypsy for the rest of my life, but I’m not sure if I can handle too many more moves like this one. After seeing my things tossed into pink garbage bags the day before, I was none too eager to see the sea-freight guys arrive an hour late on Thursday. At least, I told myself, Hubby would be by my side to assist Tori and I in supervising.

The difference between the two moving companies was evident from the moment they arrived and introduced themselves with good firm handshakes. They brought numerous giant rolls of bubble wrap, soft corrugated wrap, boxes, tape, and even a first aid box, which was placed in the kitchen in case anyone cut themselves on their well-used knives.

With Tori supervising (and flirting manically with) the gentleman in the kitchen, Hubby and I wandered aimlessly around the house, checking in on the other three packers. Each had their designated duty – wrapping heavy furniture, packing books, and carefully wrapping and securing fragile items like our artwork. The latter guy was incredibly good and both Hubby and I expressed little doubt about the safe packing of our paintings and objects d’art.

Tori, who had been witness to the half-ass job the day before, was greatly impressed with how our fragile glasses and dishes were being packed. She now understood why I had been so upset on Wednesday. I think she saw a sideline job in her future – and perhaps a date as well (she got the guy’s phone number by the end of the move!).

It was amazing to watch how quickly and efficiently these four guys worked. By lunchtime, the kitchen was almost complete and most of the other rooms had been attacked with vigor. When Hubby went to Java House to pick up lunch for Rock, Tori, and I, we all thought that the move would be finished that day. But would it really be my life if things went that easily?

Although the movers continued to work hard, they were not quite finished at 4:00 p.m. when I had Rock drive Tori home. After tidying up, they promised to show up the next day by 9:00 to complete the move, which, I was assured, would take no longer than three hours.

The next morning, the guys completed their job within the promised three hours and transformed my home back into an apartment. Even though some of our things had been left behind (sold to the gentleman who owns the flat), I knew that this place was no longer “ours.” Cheesy as it may be, I walked through the rooms and said good-bye to the nicest place Hubby and I have ever lived.

Just as I was about to drown in sentimentality, Rock came upstairs with some thrilling news: Kenya still wanted to extract her revenge for my leaving, as the car had a flat. Only unlike our previous flats this almost slash through our tire was un-repairable and would require purchasing a new tire. I assured him that it wasn’t anything to worry about since I usually drove over nails and the like several times a year back home. Sporty, our old Ford Contour, had entailed the purchase of no less than 8 new tires in the five years we owned him.

Rock and I then spent about an hour and a half driving around Nairobi looking for a new tire and were told at most places that they simply didn’t stock the size tire we needed. Two places offered me new tires – but only if I bought four since they didn’t have my size. “I can’t afford one! How am I supposed to be able to purchase four?” I laughed incredulously. In the end, I had to bite the bullet and drive all the way up to Village Market (aka Mzungu Land™) and pretend not to notice how much lighter my wallet was at the end of the day.

Tires in Nairobi, however, are stupidly expensive. If we had purchased the same tire in the States, it would have cost approximately $160 with installation. Since the tires sold here have to be imported, overpriced, taxed to hell, and then repriced for stupid wazungu, we paid $280.

So when you don’t receive a gift from us during our visit home, it isn’t that we forgot you, or that the movers packed it - we simply used your gift to buy a new tire for our car. Thanks for being so generous!!


Anonymous said...

No gift? You have to be kidding! Perhaps you don't know we changed the key on the door? :)

carsberg said...

Purchasing new
do cost a lot, however, the purpose it serves is worth it.