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here we go again

Before leaving Kenya we had shipped the bulk of our possessions to Moldova, arriving home with just a handful of suitcases, which were mostly filled with with our camping gear. By the time we left D’s parents’ house after six weeks of home leave, we barely had enough room in our car for all our stuff. And because we won’t have a diplomatic post office in Chisinau like we did in Nairobi, S tried to cram two years’ worth of shopping into the two months we had in DC.


After three State Department moves in two years, we’ve gotten pretty good at organizing our lives into boxes. By Monday morning, when the movers came, we had separated out the few things we wanted shipped by air from the rest of our belongings and stacked everything neatly on different sides of our small apartment.


Hint: Plastic bins with snap lids are a godsend; just make sure not to pack your baby in one.

In addition to packing more efficiently the fourth time around, we have also gotten much better about estimating. Moving to Kenya, we did a bad job of accounting for the weight of the packing materials. As a result, S had to make last-second decisions about what to exclude from the airfreight shipment, which for us is limited to 450 pounds. Also, on the way to Nairobi, all of our luggage was overweight and the only way we avoided paying several hundred dollars in airline fees was because Delta had screwed up our reservation and comped us the fees as a sign of goodwill. This time, when the three airfreight boxes were full and sealed they weighed a dozen pounds shy of our limit. We had also pre-packed our luggage and asked the movers to weigh it to ensure that it would not be overweight.

Although this was our easiest move, it was not entirely stress-free. Because we live in downtown DC our building shares a loading dock with various businesses, which enjoy priority over the tenants. Since the Supreme Court has declared that corporations are people, we suppose we don’t have a right to complain on that front, but it does make arranging a move more challenging. When D went to inquire about the loading dock, he learned that tenants could only reserve two slots per day:1-5pm and 5-9pm; naturally, both of the slots for our moving day were taken.

The loading dock manager’s initial response when D went to speak with her last Friday to inquire about our planned Monday morning move was, “He-e-e-e-e-ell, No!” After various phone-calls and several more conversations D persuaded her to soften her stance and allow the movers access to the dock after noon. That’s when we were expecting them too, so the 9am knock on our door came as a bit of a surprise, albeit a pleasant one. The movers had managed to find parking on the street, and by the time twelve o’clock rolled around they had packed and labeled all of our stuff. All that remained was to load and crate it, which took less than an hour once they got the truck into the loading dock.


We had counted on spending all day yesterday in a moving frenzy, so it was nice to have an unexpectedly free afternoon, which we spent at the movies. Also, it turns out that our “cramped” apartment is actually quite spacious now that it is no longer doubling as a storage unit. Too bad we won’t get to enjoy this space. We leave DC tomorrow.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Really glad that I got to see you both (if only briefly)! I hope we can reunite next year once we get to post. Also, go see Gogol Bordello in Europe. It’ll be awesome, I promise.

    August 7, 2013
    • Glad we overlapped a bit during our brief time in DC. Good luck with the rest of A-100. Do let us know when you get your flag, and we’ll plan the rest when the time comes.

      August 7, 2013
  2. Happy landings in your new post.

    August 7, 2013

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