Monday, April 13, 2015

Welcome Not Welcome

Our move into our new house went fairly smoothly. There were are a few things that were interesting and strange about it. First, the actual moving workers arrived separately from the truck that contained our furniture and boxes. This would normally not be a big deal but the truck (they called it a horse) that was to transport the container with all of our stuff in it didn't start and so they had to get a new horse and therefore the truck was very late in arriving. About six hours late.

The workers arrived at 10:00 a.m. which was the time that the truck was originally supposed to show up. So the workers were waiting around for hours and hours. At first, they waited in our driveway. I have noticed when workers here are waiting around, they have a tendency to lie down on the ground. It’s just a cultural thing I guess. You will see it a lot when gardeners are taking a lunch break they will sit or lie in the grass. Or while waiting for a bus, people will sit or lay on the ground. In fairness, there are no bus shelters or any benches or seats like we often have at bus stops in the U.S. So the guys were lying in our garage and driveway for a few hours just waiting.

Then the shuttle arrived, but still no truck with our belongings. The purpose of the shuttle was bring the items into our neighborhood where the large truck and container could not drive. Shuttle is kind of a euphemism because it was really just a pick up truck with a trailer attached to it.  Once the shuttle arrived the workers waited with it out in the street. The workers did not seem to be getting any kind of communication about when the truck would arrive so I (as head of household operations) gave them periodic updates. I also gave them lunch. I am not telling you this so you will think how great I am.  It actually goes back to an earlier post as I was advised not to tip the movers and I felt badly for them that they were waiting around all day. I am sure (well I hope) that they were being paid for their time but I don’t like to miss lunch (or any meal) so we bought them some food.

Once the items finally arrived it took five trips of loading the shuttle to get everything inside. When loaded, the shuttle looked very much like Sanford and Son if you remember that truck.

The shuttle license plate
The next day the movers returned while Mr. Deep was at work and they assembled our bed and other furniture that had been taken apart for transport across the ocean. Mr. Deep and I then spent four days unpacking. Luckily for me here in South Africa Easter is a four day holiday weekend so Mr. Deep was able to help me get everything done over the weekend.

Unpacking is hard work but I kind of like it since one of my hobbies is putting things away in an organized manner. Also, it was fun to see all of our things again after over two months. There were a few things where when I opened the box I wished I was not seeing again - thinking things like “oh you have got to be kidding me….why do we own so many hats?”

I came across this item and was kind of baffled by what to do with it.   

Normally, I would hang it on our front door. Oh and I know it’s kind of ugly but we own a few things that I love because they are ugly which I think makes them strangely attractive and kind of cool. Things like these.

Anyway, back to the point. It seemed odd to hang this on our front door when to even get to the front door you’d have to get through security at the main entrance and show ID to enter the neighborhood, then you’d have to get through an iron gate to get to the front door. I could hang it on the locked iron gate but that seems weird. Let’s face it...front doors in South Africa are just not very welcoming. They are hidden behind security, walls, gates and electric fences. I don’t even think we have a doorbell. So I put my ugly but lovable welcome sign in a drawer. Maybe someday I’ll have use for it again. 

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  1. Best of luck in your new home! May I ask how much you pared down to move? Did you sell a lot? Or put it in storage in NY? Moving to TX from NY we sold so much. But now that we're settled here I feel like we still have so many things. As I get older I like simpler and less things. I'm less attached to things in general I guess. But then again that is NOT true of my shoe, clothes and purse collection! lol Good luck girl!

  2. Thank you! Great question! We moved from a large house into a smaller house in November 2013 so we had pared down quite a bit at that time. For this move, we pared down a little bit getting rid of some things that we didn't want. We also had to pair down a lot of appliances and tvs because they won't work over here (different voltage) but yes when I was unpacking I still couldn't believe how much b!%&$&!%^ stuff we have and I agree with you that less is more but I am sure we will buy stuff while we are here and then have to lug it back home!

  3. What an exciting adventure! You most definitely need to buy some cool wall hanging or artifacts to remind you of this gorgeous country. I know a lady who picks up a good size rock where ever she travels and she brings them each home for her flower garden. Each rock reminds her of specific trip she took. :)

  4. You probably already know this but you can get the VAT refunded on stuff purchased in SA that you take back to the USA.


About Me

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Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have just moved to Geneva, Switzerland for a few months following a few years of living in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two places could not be more different. I'm excited to share our adventures, challenges and insights with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.