Kyera and I are no strangers to moving. In fact, we are veterans at it. We moved twelve times in our last ten years in the Philippines. From our home in Paranaque, to condos and apartments in Pasig, Marikina, the Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong and Paranaque again, we managed to go from a five-bedroom house when my mom was alive, to a two-bedroom townhouse before moving to Florida. In the process, we've lost things, had things stolen from us, and given away more than we owned, all with the help of a beloved house helper. Twelve times was a cinch because of Coni, Jenny, Jerome, and Mary Ann. They each worked with us at different times but without any of them, we would not have been able to keep our sanity through each round of packing and unpacking.
My part was easy. Call the movers, book the movers, pay the movers, and make several trips hauling what I could in my car. I told the girls what to pack, they packed what I wanted and unpacked where I wanted things to go. That, and still making sure K and I were fed and had clean clothes to wear.
Now that I am in their shoes and then some, I can't help but laugh that this is payback time. In a karmic way, the combined exhaustion of all my helpers seems to have been collected from me in just one move here in the US. One official move, that is, from my aunt's house to an apartment. (DC to Tally to Orlando in two months doesn't count since I was living out of two suitcases.) We would have had just two suitcases each to move were it not for my aunt emptying the entire contents of her house onto our laps! We moved into our two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with more than what we actually needed – a washer/dryer, a bed, a couch, kitchen chairs, two TVs and millions of spoons, plates and mixing bowls. My Turners from Tally came to visit and bought us a kitchen table and other essentials. Then my pastor gave us a bed, a coffee table and a TV. Three TVs and no cable and two laptops and no internet (We got online starting last Saturday!). But still!
Ten months later back in the US and I'm learning new things about everything at every turn.
Utilities are connected after a phone call or internet payment. Not so in the Philippines. Electricity and water is already available when you move in unless you live in an area that requires a water delivery service. Cable and internet require applications and waiting periods.
Here, applications, credit, background and rental history checks are needed before moving in. In the Philippines, you see a place, you like a place, you pay a reservation fee or a full down payment and the place is yours. After you give a down payment though, a Philippine landlord lets you have the keys to the place to give you time to move in at your leisure. Not so the case here. You only get the key when all documentation has been signed and a move-in date has been decided.
So many differences but the one thing that is the same is the exhaustion that comes with moving. Our muscles were pushed to their limits. I think that's bound to happen no matter where in the world you are unpacking. Unless, of course, you have your own live-in maid to do it for you. If not, welcome to the club.
Here are some scenes of the fun we call, "Moving House":Oh the lovely boxes that filled our shared room in my aunt's house.
It often felt like we lived inside a huge box within a box. But it was home for us for seven months.
We never imagined the day to move out would come so soon. Or that we would have seven-foot pastoral help carrying our furniture.
We were pretty sure our old car would be our trusty workhorse.
And that we would have to make another trip a week later to pick up more stuff.
And ultimately, become a present resident where we had once been a future one.
posted from our dining room in the newly connected $ 20.00 monthly internet subscribed abode