Moving can be such a joyful event – no, seriously, I’ve moved a lot in my lifetime and many of those relocations were full of fun and excitement as we looked forward to making new friends, settling into our surroundings, and starting a new job or life in a different area or house. Not this time.
In my previous post I explained our dilemma when we returned to Mexico at the end of September. I promised to tell you about the moving adventure, so here it is…
We moved last spring before we left for the US . It’s difficult to get boxes here as the locals sell every bit they find for extra cash. Plastic bins are expensive. So I resorted to using a lot of trash bags and double bagging things. We had little furniture, as the other place was furnished. We agreed to purchase the previous tenant’s appliances, bed, and living room furniture, pots, pans, dishes, linens, etc. Now we had come back to water damage and a caved in ceiling.
I was beside myself. How were we ever going to get this stuff moved? My husband is disabled and I’ve had two back surgeries and am not supposed to lift. Enter my heroine, my friend Irma. “I’ll call the boys,” she said cheerfully. They’ll do the work for you.
“I wonder if we should hire professional movers for the appliances and furniture?” I replied. “The other house is up ten steps on a hill, remember.”
“I’ll call the boys for the small stuff and the movers for the larger items.” She rang back a little while later. “The boys are tied up all weekend but they can do Friday night,” she said. “I still haven’t heard from the movers.”
“Ok, I’ll be ready for them,” I said.
“The boys,” are two of the nicest young Mexican men you will ever meet. They are nephews of Irma’s Mexican friend and they speak no English. I think they’re 18 and 19 or so.
The boys showed up right on time, around 6 pm. Both were attired in shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops. The first load was a disaster. We had no parking on the street except Sunday. Consequently, Jose parked his truck in the middle of the street and had to move every time someone drove up behind him on the one-way street. I lost count of how many trips he made around the block. Yet he never got ruffled and smiled the whole time.
I dragged as much to the high curb as I could while the boys loaded. I watched the first load go down the street with my heart in my mouth. Surely they’d lose half of it on the way? They were very respectful with our things, making sure they carried and loaded carefully. But, as is usual here nothing was tied down.
My husband was at the new house to greet them. Again, parking was an issue, and they now had to climb up ten steps to get to the front door. They brought everything in and stacked it along the wall.
I lost track of time, my mind numb with dragging things to the curb as I waited for them to return. It was very hot and humid and we all suffered.
We finally finished the bags and boxes and Jose asked me if I wanted them to take the furniture. “Are you sure you want to?” I asked, shaking my head. “All those steps…..”
“Si, si,” Jose replied. “No problema.” I watched the two scrawny young men hoist appliances and furniture into the truck, carrying most of it across the street to load. All the while they never complained, and although I thought they would surely pass out from the heat or drop something, it never happened.
We finished at 10 pm – four hours after we started. “Senora, we aren’t able to move the frig because of the steps. I’m sorry.” Jose said. We all climbed into the truck, turned off the lights, and headed for the new house with the last load.
I was never so glad to be done with moving in my life. Exhausted, hubby and I ate a bowl of cereal and collapsed into bed, too tired to walk across the street to buy supper.
The boys? Such fine young men. I asked how much I owed them. “You pay us whatever you think,” Jose said. My friend Irma said not to overpay them, as labor is cheaper here. She told me the professional movers wanted $1,500 pesos to move the heavy stuff. So I offered that to the boys and they were delighted. After all the moving, hoisting, and climbing for 4 hours they loved getting the equivalent of about $55 USD each. That included gas for the truck. It’s more than most people their age make in a week here.
We were happy, they were happy, and Jose’s parting words were “Do you plan to paint? We can come back and work for you.” You can be sure they’ll be the first I call. It’s so nice to see teenagers who want to work, who are polite and helpful.
Inzared appeared again the next morning as I began going through bags of stuff to put away. “You have so many things,” she told me gravely. “In my day we had two or three changes of clothes and a few household items. We had to carry them under the Vardo, you remember. I had to thoroughly wash them each time we stopped to make camp. By the way, are you going to tell the rest of my story or what? It’s been three weeks now and you’ve been neglecting me long enough.”
“Ok, I hear you,” I told her. “We don’t have internet or TV now so you’ll have to wait, but talk to me. Let me know what you want me to say.” We had a nice chat and I wrote some things on a piece of cardboard I found.
Any of you have similar moving experiences? How do you handle your writing? Dannie, if you read this post, how are moving expenses in Thailand? I’d be interested to know. Next post – settling in – stay tuned!
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