Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Our slow boat to China

The slow boat to China with all of our sea freight proved not so slow after all. Our sea freight, all 1,200 pounds of it, arrived late last week, just about 6 weeks after it left DC. Prior to moving here, we unloaded tons of toys on unsuspecting neighbors, packed 12 huge carry on bags, sent 800 pounds via air freight, rented our house, sold the lucky caravan and put a few things in storage. The rest of our belongings were put in 64 boxes and sent via boat. We all loved the thought of something traveling by boat in this day and age. We tried to track the boat’s possible route on maps. Anything that was lost over the past six weeks was always said to be in the sea freight. And now after all the anticipation (and white lies), our stuff is here!

Gone are the days of the sparse apartment. We now have toys in every corner of the apartment. Unlike Eastern Europe, apartments here have closets and extra storage spaces are ingeniously fit into various spots. We also take advantage of an amah (live-in helper which most folks here have) bedroom and bathroom (both very small) off our kitchen as extra storage space/time out room. And while the kids are thrilled to have their toys again, the boxes themselves are just as good. As a compromise to box madness, we let each kid keep one big box, which they have decorated extensively and intensely. Tori and Royce have even spent the night in their beloved boxes.

Apartment living is tight on space as any city dweller knows. But the high rise aspect of life here adds an extra element to the equation. Every day in our apartment complex and in the one across the street, various families and individuals are moving in and moving out. We have watched in amazement as men across the street raised a large dining room table up from the ground level to far above our heads (which are on the 22nd floor). To do this, there was a team on the ground pulling a rope, the dangling table and then a couple guys on the roof with a fixed pulley device, not to mention many people walking underneath without a glance up. After watching this table event and many more like it, Adam and Royce both decided not to grow up to be lawyers. The twins now want to be “rope guys.”


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