The Move

Anthony's handywork after
waking up at 4:30am

So, the movers came on Sunday morning to pack things up. Someone delivered a bunch of boxes and such at 8am, and two ladies showed up at around 10am to do the packing. They left big things (furniture, etc) untouched, but packed away all the dishes, books, toys, and other crap (err, “fine things”) we have.

I spent my time tidying up, and putting felt pads on the bottom of all the furniture. The new place has wood flooring, which, I'm worried, scratches easily. (The old place had a kind of padded roll flooring, on top of which we'd put an extra layer of padding, so had no worries about scratching).

After a while, Fumie decided that I was more in the way than being productive, so I went out to look for a phone line switcher.

We have two phone lines: a normal domestic one, and, thanks to Vonage, an American one.

Like the apartment we're vacating, the condo is wired for two phone lines, but as two single-line lines. (In America, it'd be one dual-line line). So, each room has two phone jacks. Our phones/fax are all single-line, so I need a little switch box to let us choose which line (Japan/US) to use.

I picked up my friend Shimada-san, and we went to perhaps 5 different electronics stores looking for what I thought would be a common product. There were plenty of multiplexing switches (“connect multiple devices to the one phone line”), but nothing that did the reverse (“connect one device to multiple phone lines”). I could potentially use the multiplexing switch in reverse, but would run the risk of connecting the two phone lines together when the switch was in the “both devices” position. I have a feeling that plugging one line into another is a big no-no, so I ended up not taking the risk. (The next day, Shimada-san found an appropriate device online, but the thing was huge -- almost as big as a phone itself! I finally checked Radio Shack and found something appropriate, so ordered a few.)

Back to Sunday, while at a late lunch with Shimada-san, I got a message from Fumie that they were almost done packing. When I got home around 5pm, they had just left. There were piles of boxes everywhere. After Anthony was in bed, I treated myself to a beer and the last two episodes of Desperate Housewives, which I'd downloaded earlier. What an interesting show.

Monday arrived too early, as Mondays tend to. Anthony (and thus, I) got up at 7am. An hour or so later, two guys showed up to start deinstalling our four air conditioners (to be re-installed later in the day, two at our place and two at Mom and Dad's condo). At 8:30am, four movers showed up in two big trucks. After prepping the hallway and doorways by covering them with a protective lining (protects against bumps), they started hauling boxes. They were very efficient, both in how they planned the overall move, and in how they moved individual things. It's always nice to see a pro do well what you could have done less-well yourself.

As they cleared things out, I followed with a vacuum cleaner. Despite all the vacuuming I'd done recently, there were many families of dust bunnies everywhere. Toward the end, I also started pulling up the cork-lined squares that had covered the floor for the last year, to appease the people below us who had complained about noise from Anthony's running. The squares were getting quite ratty and I was happy to do away with them. Lots of vacuuming later, the floor was clean again.

By noon-thirty, the trucks were being closed up and the apartment was empty except for some cleaning supplies we left for later (we have the lease until the end of the month). The movers went off to lunch, and Fumie and I planned to do the same, but got caught up with little things before leaving. By the time we drove the whole third of a mile to the condo, we were exhausted, but had only a few minutes to eat something at Mom's house before they started the prep to move things in.

Big things (furniture, etc.) came first, followed by a lot of boxes. At the beginning, when the flow of boxes was slow, I was pretty good about keeping up with the flow, unpacking boxes and putting things where they generally belonged. After a while, though, the “misc stuff” boxes starting coming. It'll take me weeks to get through them.

At 3pm, two ladies from the moving company came to help with the unpacking. They were very helpful, especially with the clothes and kitchen.

At 5pm I picked up Anthony from daycare, and brought him by the old place to see his reaction to the emptiness. He walked into the living room saying “ooh ooh ooh”, and pointing at the floor, saying “it empty”.  Indeed.

By 7:30pm the moving and unpacking was done, and all air conditioners installed. (What a long work day for the movers!). Although I hadn't done much more than direct them, I was exhausted, particularly my feet. I prepared the bath (which involves pressing the “bath” button) and gave Anthony and myself a bath. Then I put him down while Fumie had her bath.

We had some take-out delivered, which we ate with Mom and, to celebrate, a glass of wine. Since we'd had the unpacking help, we didn't have stacks and stacks of boxes everywhere, so already it felt very much like a home. Exhausted, I went to bed at 10pm.

I woke up at 5amish and noticed that it was already light outside. I started to worry about what would happen when Anthony woke up. He was sleeping in his own room (normally, he and I slept in the same room), so I worried that he'd wake up in a strange place without me there, and get freaked out. Or, that he'd go out of the room and get into everything, finding something dangerous we had neglected to put high enough.

Unable to sleep, a bit before 6am I went to go check on things, and found that indeed he was up. He'd opened the curtains in the living room, turned on the radio (classical), turned on the air conditioner, and pulled every toy and book off the shelf (see pic at top of post), as well as gone through all the boxes in my office and Fumie's office, looking for (and finding) more toys. When I looked in, he was playing quietly with some cars. He must have been up since 4:30 or 5:00, at least.

I wanted to sleep more, but once he saw me, I couldn't get away, so I was up for the day. When I wanted to get some food, I had to figure out where everything was. Other than things in the fridge, I had little idea where things were. In the end, I never did find Anthony's special toddler spoon. But it was very nice to be here. By 6am the sun was high enough to get over the mountains and buildings to the east, filling the living room with light. Normally, it would have been nice, I suppose, but to my mind it was much too early for that much sun (or for me to be up).

Still, it was very nice to be home.


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