24-Oct-2012

Settling In


We seem to have finally convinced people to rent us a house and are gearing up for the move. I began to go through our list of goods to mentally plan which box had to go into which room. I am quite sure that we had around 40 boxes. But when I saw the list, I realized the actual figure was double that.

Wow.

This despite a month of concerted efforts in Mumbai when I gave away tons and tons of stuff. Clothes, shoes, books, electronics, general junk.

On closer look, I realized some of the parcels contained just one bed headboard or box drawers under the bed. Not so bad then. Yet, quite a few boxes seemed to be mysteriously marked as ‘decorations’.

Do we really have so many decorations? Infact, what exactly are these decorations?

Houses in Singapore don’t seem to come with the generous Indian lofts that let you store unnecessary stuff unseen.

Infact even the cupboards don’t come with too many shelves. They have a couple of elegant rods in which I suspect you hang your limited and tasteful collection of designer clothes. Not designed for a person whose clothes, when ironed and folded used to fit snugly into multiple shelves

The sad thing is even if I do a further culling, I don’t want to dump stuff into the garbage. I would have found enough needy people back home, but here I am not so sure who to donate to.


Update –

Since I wrote the above bits, we have actually moved into the house. The first couple of days went in just enjoying the unbelievable luck of finally finding a house (which now sounds stupid to me because we would have of course found a house at some point!).

I was apprehensive about this house because we found out 2 new buildings are going to be constructed in that area, in addition to the one ongoing building. Then we realized that every area in Singapore is always going to have some construction nearby. I made my peace with it and have realized that the ongoing construction is really not so bothersome.

The one pleasant surprise has been the view. We look out over a series of low rise, posh buildings and lots of trees. This is apparently a bit of a luxury since most buildings would overlook other high rises.

After the initial euphoria of moving in died down, the tiring process of settling in began. This is the part I normally love – thinking where things would go, how to set up the house etc. Unfortunately between work and not keeping too well, this is the one thing I am unable to do at the pace I like. D, meanwhile is also super busy getting things like cable, phone, internet etc up and running. Plus a lot of unpacking will also depend on getting shelves for cupboards.

Like everything else, I assume the house will be set up in good time. Meanwhile, I am trying to see the positive side of living out of boxes (Verdict – there is no joy in that)

It is overall a nice feeling though, to come back to your own house instead of an impersonal serviced apartment.  

I remember an ex-colleague who moves countries every two years. He just has a suitcase full of some clothes. He just rents fully furnished places wherever he lives. When our stuff was getting packed, I was really tempted to simply my life and just have a suitcase too. Now that I am unpacking at the other end, I realize how nice it is to sleep in the same big wooden bed that says ‘home’, to see a bookshelf full of books you know and to have the morning cuppa from the same old green mug your friend gifted

Oh familiarity apart, some of my stuff is definitely going to be thrown out. Especially the ‘decorations’ which turned out to be code for souvenirs picked up during our travels.


Update –

Again, there has been some progress (?) since I wrote the last few lines. It has been almost ten days since we moved and we have seen one full weekend. The kitchen has been set up. To avoid washing all the utensils till we hire a maid, we cleverly use the same set of vessels everyday and stock it separately. There is a rack with two plates, a few spoons, 1 cup, 1 bowl, 1 saucepan.

As one can guess, no gourmet meals are being prepared. Just breakfast. It is the good old food courts for lunch and dinner. Talk about simple living and high thinking and all that stuff…

The weekend was meant to be my massive ‘Operation Clear-Up’ time. Instead it turned out to be the ‘Hunt for a bed’ day. Moving countries means you don’t have a frame of reference if you want to make a big buy. On recommendation from friends, we hit the first mall, where much searching turned up something which was twice our budget (the rest were well over that).

Hmmm. Do we change the budget or do we change our quality requirements?

Then we hit another mall which had more affordable stuff. Finally, it was time to enter the holy portals of Ikea.

I have heard so much about Ikea from the folks when they used to visit the Sis in the U.S. that I was really looking forward to the trip. Over here, friends say that Ikea is part of any parent-visit itinerary.

Ikea turned out to be ok despite the build-up. They really do stock tons of tremendously useful stuff which you never think you would need till Ikea shows how it can be used.

We checked out the bed and with that research was completed and on Monday, a final decision made.

The unpacking faces another week of slow clearing up. There is a long weekend coming up and instead of travelling or doing anything exciting, we are going to be stowing away stuff.

I am rather looking forward to that!

3 comments:

haathitime.com said...

Oooh Ikea! Magic words for anybody in a new okace overseas, trying to do up the house tastefully without burning a hole through the pocket!

Good to know youre settling in :)

Mum's delight said...

Glad you're settling now. Take your time with the unpacking, there's no rush since you don't need to set up the kitchen urgently etc. I also want take away food, nowadays dinner is bread/cereal!
Don't buy too much from Ikea. Their stuff is not very hardy. When we moved Sumedha's book shelf from one room to the other it collapsed!!

Anita said...

haathitime - yes, it is indeed easy on the pocket but comment below yours makes me rethink :)

Mum's delight - I can see how a shift out of this house is going to pose a problem with the bed! Man, takeaway is the world's best invention I guess.