Aug 13, 2017


A friend wrote to me and asked how the transition was going.

Transition, I replied, is such a nice word. It suggests an elegant dance move, or the graceful fade of day to night. The only thing which I feel is transitional is my mental state, which shifts between doubts, excitement, sadness, anger, fatigue, and overwhelmed. So far the words describing the move has been Triage and Evacuation.

It's almost 11pm on a sunday night. Rafa helped me move the giant boxes down to the first floor, which was really nice of him, and we made palomas with the last of the good tequila afterwards. All the big shipping boxes are now downstairs. I still need to label some of them, but the shipping has been purchased. What I thought was going to be four large boxes has ballooned to become nine, although not all in the same weight classification.

DHL will ship anything up to 70 pounds to the US for about 100 euros a box. On the one hand, it's easy to justify the shipping cost based on the value of replacing the contents (at least 10 things that cost 10 euro each is a low bar), but on the other hand, do we really need to send these things, as in, would we really need these in the US? Not as clear. Clear is, it costs a lot to ship stuff, period.  So far our tally is around 800-900 euro. Less than half the cost of a traditional shipment to Portland, but still not cheap. Weight wise, we have six boxes which are at that 70 pound limit, and three lighter boxes. For reasons unknown to me, DHL charges nearly the same price online or in the store for all the weights, except for the heaviest class, in which case instead of $150 a box, it's only $105. So as I'm cursing the awful web interface and online payment systems used only in Germany, I'm trying to keep in mind that I'm saving around $300 by doing it this way.

I've been going up and down our six flights of stairs all day carrying heavy and cumbersome items. I cleared out our keller storage, I took down the smaller 70 pound boxes, I took out some more items for the bulky waste collectors. The funny thing is that most of it has already disappeared. I don't know if I can chalk it up to the notoriously frugal and penny pinching Schwabians, but the fact is that broken vaccuum tube TV, which is not light, was taken, as well as the broken microwave. In a matter of hours.

Our suitcases are packed. We have a long table of laptops open with the printer still hooked up. Tomorrow the DHL guy will pick up the boxes. Tomorrow night the landlord comes and we all sign the agreements. Tomorrow all day, we'll clean.

The trash is a problem. We have some big bags of it and we need to figure out how.

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