The day our stuff arrived (and what we’ve learned)

A few weeks ago, around 11 am, I was sitting at home, working, and Nate called. He’d checked on the status of our HHE, since it was supposed to be delivered that week. Apparently not only was our HHE in town, but it was also going to be delivered at 3 pm that day.

Later that afternoon, I found myself standing outside under an umbrella in the pouring rain, watching the movers open up our crate, which was inside one of those big shipping containers. After confirming that the number on the shipping container matched that in the records, I had to inspect the customs seal thing to verify that it hadn’t been opened and that the number matched the records. It all felt very The Wire, Season 2.

Then they opened the container, which was less than half full, and there was the huge wooden crate containing all our stuff. I stood there for at least 15 minutes, watching them try to open the crate, which was secured with metal bands that the movers hadn’t brought the equipment to cut through. Eventually they figured it out and pried the crate open, and they started bringing boxes upstairs to our apartment.

Just a few of the boxes

Just a few of the boxes

I’ll spare you the details of the unpacking process, but suffice to say I wish we’d gone through our things more thoroughly before we left the US. We tried, but got tired and decided we’d just handle it in Dhaka.

Not a good idea.

Here there is no place to easily drop off/donate unwanted clothing, and we can’t just put furniture or things we don’t want on the curb, because people don’t do that here. So we have to find somewhere in our apartment to store all these things that we don’t really even want or need anymore.

Also, we should have watched our U.S. movers a little more carefully because, while nothing arrived broken, there are definitely some things that were supposed to go into storage that are here in Dhaka instead. So far we’ve found old journals, family photo albums, my horseback riding gear, and curtains, and we haven’t even finished unpacking yet.

Believe it or not, we were able to make dinner in our kitchen that night

Believe it or not, we were able to make dinner in our kitchen that night

Plastic storage boxes are your friends. Especially the ones that slide under beds. We brought all of our clothes here, even winter jackets, boots, and sweaters, because you never know what could happen. We could be evacuated to a cold climate country in January, or take a trip someplace that has winter (oh, how I miss temperatures below 85) and then we’d need those clothes. But until then, they take up precious space in the tiny closets.

We are so glad we brought our mattress. The mattress provided by the embassy was comfortable, and neither of us were getting backaches or having problems sleeping, but once we put our own mattress on that bed, we realized what we’d been missing. Oh wow.

Our first pack-out was definitely a learning experience, and hopefully next time things will be a little easier. But, hey, at least nothing broke!

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