Sunday 10 November 2019

We've moved house!

More boxes to unpack! 

Whenever we  have decided to move house it has always been quick and with little time for preparation. This time it was no different.

We actually didn't intend on moving. It all started when we went to a friend's house for a party. They had had to move because their landlord was moving back to Bangalore. They had a beautiful house but the new one was even better. Our contract was coming up for renewal but there was something similar in the back of our minds that niggled. We liked living in the house, it's quiet and in a good position but we kept returning to the fact that we didn't have a covered terrace that was in the shade. As the sun moved round then so did we as we would have to shade hop.   
So in mid September as I was setting off for the shops, I happen to say to Arjun about a covered terrace and how nice it would be. He said that his friend knew of a lot of empty houses in Palm Meadows and that we could go and look. In a matter of minutes, after saying this, we were in an empty house looking around. Down one street alone there were 4 empty houses.

 I was quite impressed and rang Andrew and the boys who were at home doing various things. Andrew was not interested in moving house as he is really busy and was reluctant to look, but when he did see the options he changed his mind. Milo went into excitement overload and had chosen a bedroom each time we looked at a different house, he is always up for anything new. Max was cool and determined to be closer to the club house.
Within a week we had found a house, negotiated, had a contract drawn up, a deposit put down and the removal people in to set a date. The house is closer to the club house, bus stop and with terraces that are covered and with fans and fully provisioned with mosquito nets (an essential around here!). It has a proper kitchen with a proper oven. ( the old house was a bit like living in student digs)  It's further from the shop but this means it's more difficult for Milo to sneak in and buy sweets as he doesn't walk past it any more.
We had a moving day for November 1st. We actually moved in on October 10th ! 
It was mad . The new landlord was happy for us to move in early and this meant that we could tidy up the other house without rushing. 

But, and there's always a but with the Coles, Andrew was super tied up with a colleague from the UK
 and so couldn't help at all. So it was Arjun, Mala and I ...

The removals here are very very fast . There must have been at least 15 men who turned up and all set about swiftly wrapping and packing and loading  boxes onto the van.
Meanwhile, at the new house, there were 'professional ' cleaners who reckoned it would take 7 hours to clean the house. The removal men laughed, 2 hours they claimed and the rest of the time the cleaners would sit outside and watch their phones. 
Which is exactly what they did. I cycled round to check on the progress to find 5 men sat outside and, obviously, the new boy inside cleaning. Cleaning would be a rather loose term . He had one dingy cloth that he cleaned everything with. And I mean everything. The toilets, sinks and light switches . The water was mud coloured and absolutely disgusting.
Note that this is not the actual moving day as Andrew, Milo and Max had abandoned me at that point!

I decided on not saying anything as that would mean he would rinse his one cloth and try again to please me. I said thank you very much, and shoved him out the door. 
I cycled back to the other house only to pass the van on its way. I grabbed some cleaning things and dashed back. Now, at this point, Mala is mortified that I was actually going to do some cleaning as that is her job  and tried to take the cleaning things back off me but I needed her to stop at the old house to watch the spare men who didn't speak English while Arjun came with me to watch the others at the new house. I managed to break free  So I re-cleaned all the bathrooms and switches until I was quite happy.
The men rotation went on all day until several rooms were done but the beds remained in the old house so we slept there for a further night..
The next day the same thing happened but we had a major crisis. Andrew needed Arjun (very inconsiderate) and Mala's brother had told her she couldn't work that day as she needed to go to the temple to meet a boy for a potential marriage match. She turned up in defiance but Mala was creating more chaos yelling down the phone than all the men charging around packing. She was pacing up and down, waving her arms and speaking in a very rapid high pitch shrill.
She definitely wasn't happy. She demanded that I speak to her brother ( he doesn't speak English) to tell him that she doesn't want to get married and that she had to work. He told her that she had to go to the temple. So what with the men asking which things needed to go in what box and which room and her yelling down the phone , chaos was tame word.
Then Mala's sister turned up to escort her to the temple. I decided to cut my losses and send her off as the yelling and negotiating with her brother was all too much. 
So two houses to watch and 15 men to tell where to put things in two houses.  Then to add to everything, the flipping aircon man turned up to service the AC in the new house. The neighbours were away (how inconsiderate!) but by chance a friend sent a message saying what was I up to?
 She was dispatched immediately to monitor the AC guys. Then the plumber turned up .... Luckily Joeline is very good at sorting men out and is very persuasive so she dealt with the new house.
Back at the old house the gardener turned up and added to the confusion. I set him potting up plants and picking the beans that had grown. The speed he works at meant he was gone for a while and was one less man to deal with.
But, by the end of the day, all the furniture was in place and we were in. Andrew and the boys casually strolled in and were pleased completely unaware of the chaos that had reigned. I demanded wine and pizza as I wasn't cooking and basically stared into space.

It was so exciting as we sat on the upstairs terrace surrounded by beautiful trees and a lovely view.

Update ! April 2024

  20 people sharing 2 menus! When we go to a restaurant, we seem to spend a lot of time trying to keep a straight face so that we do not ups...