Thursday, January 29, 2009

Black despair

Today, expateek wants to use the razor blades from yesterday's post and slit her wrists. She won't do it, of course, because that would make a big mess and cause untold difficulties for everyone else. For example, Mr D would have to clean the bathroom yet again.

Still, bleak despair has set in momentarily.

Because she has one day to inventory and value everything in her house. For the move.

The Company has had a month to organise a moving company, but they have waited until the second-to-the-last business day to approve the proposal and give the go-ahead. The packers arrive Monday. So expateek has ... let's see... tomorrow to document 30 years of accumulated possessions and guess at the replacement value of everything she and Mr D own abroad.

This is where Mr D's strategy of minimalism looks especially intelligent. Perhaps if they only owned a frackin' yurt and a few tapestries and tent poles, it would have been easier. Of course it would have been easier.

Moreover, putting aside that expateek has a hard time remembering anything these days, she now needs to remember not only what she paid for stuff, but then convert it into Polish zlotys. Great. She's still thinking in British pounds, she paid for many things in American dollars, and some stuff cost South African rands. Dammit. Exchange rates, anyone?

So this is the order of the day for tomorrow.

And then there's picking out anything she might need -- important papers, tax returns and documents, medical information, dissertation resources and notes, not to mention basic clothes and shoes and stuff -- for the next three months or even longer. Because once she arrives in Chicago, her stuff will go straight into storage until the next permanent posting for Mr D is revealed.

She and Mr D might not be in Chicago long term. No sense unpacking, and then packing up again 3 months from now to move to places unknown. expateek's hoping places unknown won't equal Mobile, Alabama. Although ironically, mobile pretty much describes expateek's life.

On days like this, expateek takes small comfort in the idea that at least she has an excuse for never having written a great novel, never having had a stellar career, never having gotten much of anything of any substance accomplished. After all, if one spends all one's time packing and unpacking every two years, there's not much energy for anything else.

This is Company move number twelve. expateek's done this twelve times. expateek's frackin' tired.



Christine said...

And to think that I was feeling sorry for myself at having to pack up again for the four months that we will be staying in Seattle. I am so paranoid that I will forget something important. My heart goes out to you.

expateek said...

C-- Thanks so much. I really shouldn't complain... things could always be worse. It'll all be just a memory soon enough. I appreciate your kindness. It's nice to have company when one's feeling blue.

katyboo1 said...

Dear God woman,
You are a saint. I would have holed up somewhere nice and central and forced everyone to visit me. You need cake. Eat all the cake. Then at least you won't have to value it.

pinolona said...

Um... I'm not so good at sympathy noises but I can offer you a currency converter if that helps?? ( It's very useful, especially for converting nice fat euros into lots of little pounds sterling, mmm, yummy...

And I understand how horrid it is leaving Poland (although I have much less luggage and much greater propensity just to abandon things in cupboards, on shelves, in the larders and stomachs of friends etc.).

expateek said...

Hi Pino -- thanks, is my best friend. It's been on my toolbar for ages. What a weirdo, right? I've been giving away stuff right and left, but the office is what's giving me the shivers... Oh well. The agony will be over soonish.

Katy -- Cake sounds good. I just ate five amaretti biscuits... saving the last two for later tonight when I'm really irritable! Right at the moment, I'm living on toast with marmalade and borscht(barszcz). Lovely diet. I should be turning shades of reddish orange shortly.