Little Boxes. In the Kitchen

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Little boxes packed with slick and tacky

We’re packed!

Well, almost. It’s hard to pack thoroughly when you are an eight-legged being composed of a man, a woman, a girl and a boy. The man part needs razors and ties, the woman part needs silk and handbags in every colour, the girl part needs Barbies and sparkly pens and the boy part needs guitars and soccer balls.

Needs, wants, preferences.

Not only that, we have to pack in six separate genres.

No.1 is packing for Cambodia and Vietnam (both north and south, cool and hot) – you know – saris, sandals, swimming shorts and goggles.

No. 2 is packing for our last three weeks in Beijing, post-Vietnam – you know – suits, ties, school uniforms, jeans, boots, coats, beanies and pashminas in every colour.

No. 3 is packing for our return to an Australian summer. You know – shorts, skirts, strappy dresses, hats with corks swinging around the brim, safari suits and crocodile repellant.

No. 4 is packing for our shipment – you know – the stuff (lots!) we’ve amassed during almost four years in Beijing.

No.5 is packing for our unaccompanied baggage – you know – all the stuff we don’t want to be without for the 8 weeks between now and when we walk in the door of our new house in Australia.

No. 6 is packing for charities – you know – all those things we’d love to take with us but absolutely can’t for various reasons but not limited to size, type and the fact that we simply have too much already and someone else probably needs these things more than we do.

Attached to all this dividing and conquering is the “last minutes” – the things you forgot to get, the presents people forgot to give you earlier, the things you’ve suddenly decided you can’t leave behind. Like Din Tai Fung and Ritan Park. I wonder if those will fit in my suitcase?

So, we are part way into the semblance of a packed state and in three days, those things – those boxes packed with all things slick (silk, cashmere, celadon pottery) and all things tacky (Ya Show knickknacks, my beloved lucky cat, waving its paw) will be lifted up off our Beijing floor, whacked on a ship and plonked down onto the floor of our new house in Australia.

If only it were that simple.

It has, of course, been a journey getting all this done, the least of it being that I only really started packing two days ago. That’s what writing and publishing two books does to you, and what nicking off on holidays over Christmas does to you, so I’ve only got myself to blame.

Then there’s the removalist company issues.

Let me just say this: if you can have your shipment viewed, assessed and quoted on accurately even once, without mass discrepancies in cubic meterage quotations (I’m talking a difference of 13 cubic metres between companies, yes you read it right – thirteen), then you need to have your own Guinness World Book of Records entry, post-haste.

The stress, strain and head-fracturing this has caused our family; I can’t even speak it out loud without running head-on into a crashing migraine. As I write, my husband is holding court with yet another “potentially exaggerating removalist quoter” and I hate to think about the state of this poor man if he doesn’t come within a metre of my husband’s predetermined shipping measurement.

It’s been hellish, yes indeed.

Keep your fingers crossed. If things go haywire, prepare to see a determined blonde tai tai, bobbing in the Pacific Ocean somewhere in the Malay archipelago, nudging along a 40-foot container packed with handbags, ribbon and silk. I won’t be leaving home without it.

First published on the City Weekend Beijing website.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...