|"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 70"|
This weekend has been relaxing and hectic all in the same go. We move apartments next weekend, which normally in the US would be no big deal. You might hire a mover, or to save money just rent a truck for the weekend and pack it yourself. Or, if you have a lot of friends with trucks (and we have been one of those friends) you enlist the help of your benevolent friends' help with promise of payment in beer and pizza. Ah, the good old days.
Now, for better or for worse, any movement we make in Singapore is tied to an HR department. (Besides the face few people own cars, much less a nice, big, pickup truck!) You don't really realize how much freedom you are giving away by getting their "help" and support. So rather than having the ability to find a mover, or even make a decision, it takes a three day game of telephone between six people (usually three of which speak about three to five words of english) to figure out anything. It gets a little disconcerting when I've spoken to the owner of the moving company, Peter, and he says he'll come over for the estimate. Later that day, another gentleman, who is not Peter, shows up. Here is how our moving estimation progressed:
Him: "You move?"
Me: "Yes, when do you come to pack?"
Him: (points to washer/dryer) "Take, take?"
Me: "No, No. What day to pack?"
Him: (points to bed, fridge, other various items) "Take, take?"
Me: "No, yes, no, no, no, all this, look! Lots of items in closet. What day can we schedule?"
Him: (complete and total look of confusion, then a look of understanding and clarity) "Ah! 40 cartons, can, can-lah?"
Me: "Can, but what day?"
Him: "I call boss."
That, almost literally, was the entire extent of our conversation. Needless to say, it gets a little strange when everything has to go through HR, and I'm actually happier that I am packing our things. The boxes were delivered on Saturday (we get to pack ourselves, but we have people to carry the heavy stuff, yay!) and we are about 80% packed. This week is pretty busy, so I won't get much of a chance to paint, but I'll hopefully get some chance...