Moving day finally arrived. There were several times in these weeks leading up to it when I thought I might die, if it's possible to keel over dead from exhaustion. I finally got over my super long cold but am entering the third trimester with plenty of exhaustion and back pain, even without dealing with the move. Lately I am far too tired and uncomfortable to sleep. Apparently my body is gearing up for jet-lag because I've been waking up at 3:30 or 4am unable to sleep for hours.
A few weeks ago Kevin hurt his hand, which has been a bit of a problem in the packing and moving process. It is still sore but now he can at least pick up things again. Juliana is very familiar with packing suitcases for a trip but is completely thrown off by packing up everything we own. She has been pretty stressed and confused lately. Even though we've tried to explain what is going on, she doesn't quite understand that she will in fact see her toys again (like “8 months later” really means much to a preschooler), we're not just taking them all way. She also has been a little freaked out to leave our sight; I think she's afraid we will leave her behind.
Despite the challenges (Did I mention the heat? And the A/C unit in our bedroom just stopped working...), all of our belongings are packed and no one died in the process. Even if we wanted to move all our things down from the 6th floor, down the road, and back up to the 3rd floor on our own (which we didn't), I can't carry anything heavy and Kevin can't carry much with his hurt hand. So we hired a moving company for about $70. Originally we scheduled the moving guys to arrive at 9am this morning, but they called the night before to say it would be noon instead. Shortly before noon, they called back to say 2-3pm, and they finally arrived just after 4pm. I guess we should have expected it.
Three normal-sized Chinese guys pulled up downstairs in a large truck. We were their third move of the day, and they were happy that almost all the furniture belonged to the landlord. Still, we had 40 boxes and a dozen trashbags, plus two cabinets and a crib. I'm pretty sure we moved here with about 30 boxes total (larger ones, granted), so the accumulation mystery continues. Where did all this stuff come from?? It's not like our apartment is that big.
The three men sized up the load and then started hauling. They looked like average sized guys, no bulging muscles or anything, but looks can be deceiving. I watched the first guy tie together half a dozen boxes, strap it to his back, and head off down the stairs with a load twice as big as himself. One man was obviously the main mover. Even though he had already moved two households today, he was still smiling, joking with the other guys, and chatting with me as he energetically gathered boxes. He rather seemed to relish his job.
He strapped eight boxes together and hoisted them onto his companion's back. When the other guy wavered and decided it was too much, the main mover said something to the effect of, “Really? You can't handle these eight boxes? Come on!” Then he strapped them to his own back and headed downstairs with no problem. A couple of trips later, he hoisted our large 3-door wardrobe onto his back. It was too big to fit down the stairs frontwards, so he backed his way down 5 flights of stairs - with the giant wardrobe on his back. It was all highly impressive and a little nerve-wracking. I was a little concerned for our belongings and a bit more concerned that this would be the part where someone keeled over dead. If this were the States, they could probably put on a show and charge admission.
Kevin stayed downstairs to watch the belongings being loaded into the truck, and I stayed upstairs telling the movers which items to take. I would have felt a little bad about sitting and watching them work so hard if not for my big pregnant belly. At one point I moved a very light box out of the way and they said, “Oh no, don't pick that up. We'll move it.”
Halfway through, the men paused downstairs for a smoke-break and when they came back up they had stripped their shirts off. It was mid-90's after all. One guy paused appreciatively in front of our fan but the other guy explained that he was avoiding the fan because after sweating so much he was afraid of getting too cool. Uh huh. Two of the guys were starting to look winded, but the main mover was still energetic. He showed his moving buddy how to balance a chair on his back and still have his hands free for a couple more items. Finally he strapped four large boxes of books on his back and trotted off downstairs.
In just under 1.5 hours, everything was moved downstairs. Now all that was left was carrying it up 3 flights of stairs to our new apartment. Piece of cake. They were finished by 7pm.
I'd say those movers were definitely worth it.