Thursday, January 15, 2009

That Wasn't So Bad

During our African adventure, we often joked that there must be a reality TV crew lurking somewhere in the distance, because the number of times that things went wrong just seemed statistically impossible when based on random chance. This week it became apparent that the TV crew is still with us, and were documenting our return to Real Life with a particular kind of evil zeal.

The original plan was that I would take the few things stored at my mother's and drive them to Toronto on Monday night. We would spend the night at my cousin's, which I was happy to do because it meant I could play Wii spend time with him. Then the movers would meet us at our storage facility on Tuesday morning, and we'd be moved in by lunch. Easy peasy.

What actually happened is that the quantity of material possessions at Mom's trebled in our absence, somehow, and ended up being enough to fill at least four large SUV's. After a brief conference call (BG was in Toronto, playing Wii already) we decided he would rent a cargo van in Toronto on Monday and come to pick up our stuff. We initially decided to spend one last night in cushy, luxurious, motherly comfort... but then a pending snowstorm toppled our plans. We drove to Toronto late that night, knowing that we had the keys to our new apartment and could sleep there, because the van would be safer parked there than downtown.

Unfortunately, our air mattress was not at Mom's as it should have been, even though every other single thing in the universe appeared to be there. We had to stop and buy a new one en route... and then we had to stop again and exchange it for a better one after a couple of hours of reflection (BG!). Once at our new place, we discovered that the walls were freshly painted (Yay!) but reeked (Boo!) and that the carpets had been shampooed (Yay!) but were still soaking wet (Boo!). We opened all the windows and cranked up the heat -- sorry, Environment. Then we rolled up our sleeves and took off our socks and got to work cleaning, because there's nothing worse than living in someone else's dirt.

On Tuesday morning BG drove to the storage facility to meet our movers and I set to scrubbing the bathrooms (that's right, we have TWO.) He returned unaccountably early, and I was initially thrilled to think that the move might be finished early. Actually, it was to be finished very, very late, as something got mixed up in the booking and the movers thought we were moving tomorrow, not two days ago. And that cargo van sitting in the parking lot, full of our stuff which the movers were supposed to help us with? Guess who had to empty that thing. Yep... Team Chopsticks.

In the end, the moving team, a group of very nice and very apologetic gentlemen, came the next day (early, in fact!) and had us in our new place in just a few hours. They even offered to cover half of the extra two weeks' rent that the storage place charged us for the extra DAY we were there.

Then the elevator decided to work only intermittently. Then we realized that our unit is actually at the very furthest end from the elevator. Then we realized that in our haste to move out in 2007, we'd helpfully labelled our boxes "MISCELLANEOUS", "EXTRA BITS", "UTENSILS", and "SAW".

I'd say we're 95% done now. It's okay that I haven't breathed outdoor air for 48 hours; I hear it's really cold outside anyway. It's okay that I can't find anything yet because I can't remember where I just put it. It's okay that the second bedroom is completely full of boxes and crates because this is only a temporary place and there's no point in unpacking the good china. At least I found the coffee maker.

Today we put the clothes away. It took the whole morning, and the whole process made me feel sick to my stomach -- the enormity of the task, the enormity of our wardrobes. Life was so much simpler when all we had to worry about was our two backpacks and our passports. Still, life goes on, and I find myself sleeping in my own bed, sitting at my own desk, watching my own TV, cooking with my own carefully selected and terribly abundant kitchen gear.

Life is still good.

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