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Architectural Digest, Here I Come…

March 3, 2008

 It’s all in. It’s not pretty. It breaks every law of Feng Shui imaginable.  (unless balancing the night stand on top of the dresser is a good thing?)But it’s in.


Here’s how it went:

11:05. Large green truck arrives.  Green truck attempts to pull into space in front of the apartment that had been blocked off by the police.

(yes, for the small price of 200 Euros/300 USD, the police put up 2 signs saying you couldn’t park in front of my apartment during the time the movers were supposed to arrive. some person had the same sign-reading problem I usually have and parked smack dab in the middle of the blocked off space. the movers were ready to call the tow truck when I, being the sort that fully understands sign misreading, suggested the moving truck park in the GIANT spot behind the car. a quick discussion in Dutch followed. then a few heavy sighs. then the truck parked behind the car. with room to spare. – see… people here WANT to tow cars. even when it’s not necessary. perhaps this will earn me a few parking-related karma points?)

4 Belgian guys hop out of the truck and begin knocking down the wooden supports in the container. And by 4 I mean 3 took a cigarette break (apparently getting out of a truck is very tiring) while the 1 guy did the hitting.

11:30. The first box crosses the threshold to my apartment. According to my watch, this should have happened at least 2.5 before. According to Belgian Time, however, they are ahead of schedule.

The next two hours or so went relatively smoothly minus a few minor language difficulties. For example, ‘bedroom’ versus ‘kitchen’. Or ‘upstairs’ versus ‘downstairs.’ Nothing too embarassing (by my standards) aside from one exchange with the fittest guy of the group – 6’2, all muscle, bald – dead ringer for ‘Mr. Clean’:

Mr. Clean (in broken English): ‘Do you have an upstairs?’
Me (in excellent English): “Uh, sure” (I point up the stairs)
Mr. Clean (in excellent Dutch): “Bedankt”
Me (in English with a Dutch accent): “No problem”

I then proceed to follow him up the stairs, point out the different rooms and explain that I moved my belongings into the bathroom so they were out of the way. We walk into the bathroom, I show him the pile of my things, he nods and then stares at me.  Like I’m an idiot.

Mr. Clean (in broken English): “Uh. Alone.”

oh. right. he just wanted to use the bathroom. by himself.

1:30. All but one item is inside the apartment. The couch. The beautiful, comfy couch that took three weeks and countless trips to every furniture store in the tri-state area to find.

Moving man who speaks the most English: “Couch. No go upstairs.”
Me: “I know – that’s why I told you to bring the lift so it can go through the window.”
Men: (Lots of head shaking) “Need window on front. Your window in back. Lift no go in back. niet niet niet [Dutch for ‘no no no’ or, ‘you’re screwed’]”
Me: “That was NOT ON THE FORM. You asked if I needed a lift so i checked the ‘YES’ box. There was no ‘front or back’ box!?!?!”
Men: “You have garage? Couch can go in garage?”
Me: (struck by image of sitting in the garage on my couch watching a tv that is propped in the window of my car) “NO. Couch does NOT go in garage. Can we try to lift through window?”
Men: SIGH. “We try.”

So two of them put the couch on their shoulders, traipse down the street, around the corner, through the gardens and backyards, down the little steps behind my house, threw some ropes around the sofa and then attempted to hoist it up through the window. One stomach adjustment (the one guy who drove the moving truck and did who knows what else was VERY obese and had to adjust his stomach at least once b/c he couldn’t get the proper grips on the sofa ropes) and several lound grunts later… my sofa was safely in the living room!

2:30. I’m alone in my apartment sitting on my couch eating a bowl of kluski noodles with butter and parmesan cheese. (thank you mom for secretly packing me 8 bags of kluski noodles)

life is good. aesthetically unpleasing, but good.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 26, 2008 4:14 pm

    shouldn’t you change the title from “Britt in Brussels” to “Britt in Leuven” ? 🙂

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