I was sitting in the front seat of a ‘moving’ van last weekend (moving to a new apartment in Shanghai) and I couldn’t help but feel amused at life in general.
The one plant I hadn’t killed (yet) rested on my lap and I continued to ponder how life will be for me without the ability to flush toilet paper.
I should add that I have no idea what the name was of the guy driving me. I met him hanging out the front of IKEA one day when he drove me home and made my bookcase. Names are not so important to me these days anyway, or words in general for that matter.
We arrived at my new place and the moving guy seemed quite stressed. As you might expect, I then felt a little stressed myself, but soon decided I was pretty helpless to fix anything anyway.
I met a lovely old lady who I said ‘ nihao’ to when i entered my lane house. We gestured to each other that I live upstairs and she is downstairs. At this point I felt annoyed at myself for stopping my Chinese over the last few months. I told her my name, but I can’t remember shit anymore, I may as well have just arrived. At least living here has the potential to give me some renewed motivation to learn.
The apartment rental guy was there with a helper waiting for me. I never said when I was coming so I don’t know how long they had hung around but either way he and his guy expected to help me move.
I was a bit like ‘hmm, what’s going on’ but soon changed to my tune to ‘oh fuck it its sweet stop wondering’. Next thing I know, I’ve left all my shit with this random helper guy on the sidewalk (I’m told he’s putting it in my apartment). Then the real estate guy, the driver and I all pile into the van for the second trip.
By the third trip the real estate has gone and the moving guy freaked out again. I couldn’t get hold of anyone though. Ignorance is not always bliss. I could tell it was because of all my shit – it was a lot, it surprised me too. I am told later that he said to my colleague ‘how does an expat have so much stuff’. Judgy judgy, if I want 3 gravy boats I’ll have 3 gravy boats. Haha!
Eventually (by eventually I mean a few minutes but it felt like forever) it was all sorted. As suspected I had more stuff than he expected and he needed to leave soon. We moved almost everything I had left at super speed. Some stuff got smashed and dented and some stuff was just too hard, so I’d worry about that another day I guess.
A few hours later, it was finally just me in my new pad and I was so happy to be where I was, despite the huge fucking mess around me.
I went to buy some milk and was blown away by all the great stuff near me… I moved across the city for the quaint feeling of an old apartment and the relaxed vibe of the French Concession (i.e. Pretty tree-lined streets) so I expected it to be good, but I was still excited. Just outside my entrance I found some local (but not too local) clothes shops, random antique shops, and even a nice local Chinese supermarket (this mean good stuff but at good prices as they are not selling horrifically priced imported goods).
I also found some nice western restaurants, tasty looking hole in the wall Chinese restaurants and a cool market. All that in a 10 minute walk.
So much to explore (and unpack!).