Ooooops, guess I misunderstood the housing manual. I thought it said that we had one opportunity to tell them which furniture we didn't want. I was wrong. That opportunity is rare and well, they are going to provide full sets of living room, dining room, family room and bedroom furniture. Unfortunately, I packed TWO sectional couches, one a monstrous three piece and the other, a small two piece I intended to use in the playroom. I was thinking that I didn't want to sit on an uncomfortable, government-issued couch for two years and we had plenty of room in our shipment. As it turns out, they are currently unwilling to even consider the possibility of removing the two full-size sofas, love seat and two easy chairs from our furniture inventory (there's currently no furniture in the house because it's a newly acquired property). On the plus side, we will have plenty of seating should we choose to throw any massive house parties. On the other hand, we're going to be walking across couches to get to and from the kitchen and bathrooms. Oye. I am such an amateur.
So, yeah, the pack-out was yesterday and I think the biggest snafu was the one I just described. I stupidly assumed that they would actually be pleased if we told them not to move in the couches. I don't know. Bureaucracy is so unpredictable and often, irrational. I really hope they take pity on us when they see the embarrassment of couches at our house.
We also cut it impossibly close with our weight limit. I think we just made it with 4 lbs. to spare. We brought A LOT of stuff and here's why: when we did our initial pack-out in NJ, I was still recovering from childbirth and Flora (henceforth called "FiFi," because that's what we call her at home) was only 8 weeks old. Addy was at her most irrational and it seemed impossible to spend the necessary time organizing our things. So, we have no idea where things ended up and those tattooed packers did NOT inspire confidence. We thought by bringing just about everything, we'd be able to do a better job next time. That said, there's not much room to expand, so we're hoping to purge quite a bit of stuff while in Europe.
All in all, It's really nice to have that part over with. The Oakwood apartment is no longer cluttered and feels like it could be any one's. There's nothing "Whitney" about it. Just a wash of beige and dark maple.
2 1/2 weeks and we'll be in Brussels. The waiting is quickly coming to an end. I am carrying the weight of a thousand and one emotions. Sad to be leaving my family and friends, but elated by the possibilities and opportunities for reinvention. It's a wonderful, challenging, overwhelming journey and we are just at the beginning.
Little House in the Big Tokyo
2 weeks ago