Today was when all our belongings were scheduled to be delivered. I was told the van would arrive some time between 10am and 1pm, and I was also expecting a couple of packages from Amazon (our new toaster, kettle, vacuum cleaner, iron and coffee table) so I got in an Uber and rushed to our new house without any breakfast, and spent the morning sat on the front porch.
The moving truck arrived at 2pm. One of my Amazon packages arrived, but USPS reported that it was impossible to deliver to my house (I guess it is quite hard, as my house is in the middle of a wide street, is clearly visible, has a large porch you could leave parcels on and a doorbell to attract my attention). That, or USPS employs very timid people who won’t ring doorbells, and who are also as stealthy as ninjas.

The moving truck came, though. When we moved out, Asian Tigers (the company, not the animals) had somewhere between 5 and 10 people pack and empty our apartment in maybe 3 hours. When they came to deposit our possessions, the US arm (well, the Washington Moving Conference) sent three men. I had a feeling this might not go so well.

The boss was a short, slightly chubby chap called Glenn, a tall, older guy and a young kid who seemed to be the butt of the other two’s jokes. Although Glenn wasn’t doing much better. The youth was used to carry as much as possible, in the time honoured tradition of giving the new guy all the shitty work.)

They only had 192 boxes, according to the cargo manifest. By the time they’d finished, the toy room, the kitchen and the living room were filled with boxes. Boxes, boxes everywhere. I opened a few cartons in the kitchen, planning to put things away, but there was dust and dirt on all our plates, and without any cleaning gear, I decided to wait until later before sorting it out.

It took around two hours to unload. It was a bit unclear how much they were meant to unpack. According to the notification from the shipping company, they should unpack everything and then remove the damned 192 cardboard boxes. According to my wife, nothing should be unpacked, so she could do it herself. According to the three chaps,… as little as possible.

I did feel a bit mean, but then they were meant to reassemble furniture, and I don’t have any tools.

Unfortunately, neither did they. Whereas in Singapore the movers supply muscle, and also a bloke with an electric drill, I watched as two men tried to screw my bed back together with their fingers. Eventually, knowing there was a proper screwdriver in the bottom of my toolbox, and seeing the opportunity to buy power tools, I let them go. My bed is in a state where currently it won’t survive a nudge from La Serpiente, but I can at least see how to put it back together.

So, after all that, I had every one of our possessions loaded into the house, while the moving van trundled away to Redmond. Then I had to move half the stuff down into the basement (these movers seemed to have real issues with stairs) which was good exercise, and then fulminated some more on the invidious behaviour of the US Postal Service. Maybe if they’d spent less money funding Lance Armstrong and his attempts to take the most drugs, the best drugs, in the 2000s then they could have built a reliable delivery network.

Or maybe they just hate my house. Did the previous owner keep a particularly savage dog? I’ve had no issues getting things delivered to the office…

Finally, I put up the Australian Geographic Photographer Of The Year 2018 picture up on our dining room wall, unpacked maybe 1% of our boxes, and went to the airport. I firmly believe when i get home that there will be fifteen vacuum cleaners and at least one microwave oven waiting inexplicably on our porch.

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