Monday, July 30, 2012

moving sucks

I don't suppose I have to tell anyone in the world that packing and cleaning a place in preparation to move out is not a fun task. When I was a kid (since I NEVER moved) I saw moving as a sort of cleansing, a time when you were forced to clean and sort carefully (because if not forced to do these things I could always find a better use for my time) all your possessions. When I heard people say "That got lost in the move," I could never understand it. In my mind, you FOUND stuff when you were moving, stuff hidden in places you would not have seen had you not emptied your house.

I think some of these notions still hold on because I was hoping to find treasures as I took apart my place. Mostly I just found dust, lots and lots of hidden dust.

I also found that my previous conviction that I would make it out of Japan with no more than my two allowed suitcases was pure folly. I've been here for three years; I've amassed a good ton of junk. I knew this, but I assumed that this would all be 'junk' that I would just leave behind, whether as give-away stuff or as trash.


So I bought three boxes for shippin' stuff back, and given three boxes, I've now filled three boxes. Since my sorting/cleaning choices expanded from pack, give, or throw away to pack, give, throw, or ship, several odds and ends have been literally chucked into the box area of the living room (I lined them up side by side in a corner and then would just fling things into that direction if I wanted to ship it).

I'm still throwing out and giving away a good deal of stuff, of course; I got rid of 31 kilos of used clothing, not all of it mine, a bit over a week ago. To the stayers go the spoils, and I've been dividing up my stuff amongst the staying ALTs and my successor, mostly 'useful' things and 'pretty' things. I can't believe I have to be out of there by the end of the week, although the walls are finally bare (and that does help it look more like progress).

I traded the tall couch for a short one, better suited for sitting at the kotatsu come winter, and I traded back my kotatsu for the one Sam and Carl had (I gave them the giant one that hardly fit in the room and took their tiny one that couldn't fit Carl's legs under it). I'm leaving the vanity, the green chair, the denki carpet, the kitchen unit, the bike, the heater.

But moving stuff around in this heat is anything but a fun pastime. I have interrupted the process frequently for social and other excursions, like visa-getting trips to Himeji, parties with leavers and stayers (as a leaver myself)... the weekend of the 21st was a sort of "party all the time" wherein we spent basically the whole weekend kicking it with Shiso all over town. I'll do posts about all that (as well as.. I suppose... my bye-bye work events). But there's no putting it off forever, and the process has been slow and painful and hot and painful and slow.

So it goes!

I did find some things I had squirreled away, forgotten, or thought lost.

This is something I mentioned in my farewell speech, unaware that I did still have it in my house. It's a talisman-like gift from a school excursion from back when the current 3rd-years were in the 6th grade. It says something like "Emily-sensei, please make fun memories with us." In writing my speech (writing, not even saying, just pre-work), the thought of including a reference to this object followed by the question, well, did we? would cause me to leak tears on my desk.

This is just a man-en with a different version of birds on the back of it than usual. I'm gonna have to spend this, though, cause that is a hundy right there.

This is a twenty, and though they are rare, I've somehow been in possession of several of them over the course of my time. I am gonna spend this too, cause I think I have one back home. 

Back of the 20.

This isn't something I lost, it's just something I thought was kind of funny and wanted to share.. try to ignore the total chaos and... Above my kitchen table I had placed a picture of Siena, Italy, because there was a larger version of a very similar picture above the table where I often at at the Centro in Rome. I created my own version of that place here, right after I moved in. 
Anyway, all these various treasures don't really make up for the fact that moving sucks, it really really sucks, even more so when it's hot and your house doesn't have 'real' AC, and topping that off, you don't really WANT to leave, you just kind of have to.

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