It’s almost exactly four years since I sat watching the dawn break in Germany while waiting for house to be packed for the move to Greece. Very surprisingly the German packers were hopeless and the move was so stressful made even more so when I discovered that not only were they hopeless packers but they were also thieves . Not only did they steal stuff of great sentimental value they also bundled 20 laundered and ironed shirts into a box because they’d run out of hanging space. Mr T and I were greatly vexed by this because ironing isn’t something that either of us have put on our top ten list of things we love to do. Sometimes I think I hate them more for that.
This is my fourth international move and I am so on the ball you wouldn’t believe it. The coordinator for the move arrived this morning and told me that I’d pretty much done her job for her. She’s pretty on the ball too so I’m far less worried about this move than any of the others. Plus there’s nothing left to pinch because they either got it last time or the expat vulture community here have had it.
Once people know you’re leaving they start to circle, gently to begin with, they seem almost friendly in their approach. A couple of gentle leading questions about where you might be moving to and what it’s like and before you know it they’ve calculated a list of possessions that they know you’ll have to sell. And they know you have to get rid of them so it’s not a case of advertising it for sale, getting no takers and thinking that you’ll just wait a couple of months and try again. It’s more a case of advertise it once, get no takers and then advertise it again and again and again while reducing the price each time. Your potential buyers are sitting there playing chicken with each round of adverts wondering who’s going to jump in there. Or there was the really crafty one who just got in there at the beginning and staked her claim. She sent me an email after the first round of adverts telling me she couldn’t afford what I was asking for an item of furniture but if I didn’t sell it she would offer me half the requested price. Little Miss Grabby was a shrewd operator and it paid off because she got a beautiful item of furniture for next to nothing. But what else could I do? Set fire to it? However she did write me a very gracious thank you note telling me that I should know that it had gone to a good home, to people who needed it and Karma would repay me. I basked in the knowledge that Karma was sitting in the corner smiling benevolently upon me.
Then I advertised my fridge for sale and no one wanted it at the price I asked for. No surprise there. I stuck it up again at half the price and Little Miss Grabby sent me an email to say that if I didn’t manage to sell it at that price would I just give it to her. For nothing. By this time Karma was standing outside my house chanting ‘LOSER’.
I am going to drink a lot of coffee today.