Moving

Sorry for the radio silence, folks! It was moving week!

Agent L has had a fairly peripatetic life in Istanbul, but heretofore moving was more or less easy. I simply packed my things back into the three suitcases I moved here with, shoveled the overflow into some trashbags, got a few friends to help, and was on my way. The biggest thing I owned was a drying rack, which is cumbersome, but not heavy. Recently, though, I’ve been acquiring STUFF. Not enough stuff to justify  the hire of a moving company or even a van for the afternoon, but more stuff than I can carry myself, or even with the help of a few friends. In my last place I needed to buy a wardrobe, a chest of drawers, and a little night table. When I bought them from second hand street, they were delivered, smilingly, that night to my apartment. For free! (Looooove Second Hand Street) But how to get them out again? My plan was to get an eskici- one of the junk men who wander the street with hand-push carts- to come over, and for a load give him something like 50 TL. For a number of frustrating but not terribly interesting reasons, this plan fell through, and at the last minute I wound up pulling two burly men friends out of a bar and together the three of us wheeled my chattels away with a dolly. It was ridiculous and stressful, and one of my drawers broke, but at least it was all done, and for the low and enjoyable price of many drinks at Igzas.

I have been very lucky with this move- my friends who I’m inheriting the apartment from were moving back to America and needed to sell all their stuff before they went. I bought what I could afford- bed, rugs, pull out couch, a table, the cooktop, and some miscellany. They sold whatever I didn’t want/ couldn’t afford to friends, and we all pitched in on a truck to get it out and delivered and to get my new spare room bed – from a friend who’s- Mazel tov!- moving in with his girlfriend- in. That left only the washer, bought from another friend who lives five blocks away. The thing had to be picked up by the twelfth, and the plan was, again, to dolly. Know where you can rent a dolly in this city? Why, at any of the fine mom and pop hardware and paint stores that are conveniently located absolutely everywhere- there are two in a three block radius from my home. Do you know what are all, without exception, closed on Sundays? EFFING MOM AND POP HARDWARE AND PAINT STORES THAT ARE CONVENIENTLY LOCATED ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE.

After quite a lot of pacing and hand wringing and what the fucking, (god bless Hannah, for showing up with pickles, cheese, and beer) a cart was found, two more burly men friends conscripted to heavy lifting, and my gorgeous, almost new washing machine all set up and ready to go.

Anyway, the place is a mess because my friends haven’t managed to ship all their stuff out of the apartment yet, I put most of my guest bed together before realizing I don’t seem to own a philips head screwdriver and then gave up, I haven’t bothered unpacking because why would I put everything away when I’m just moving all the furniture around after the last boxes get moved out anyway? Add to that a string of really busy work days during which I was three times out of the house for more than 14 hours, and the attendant take-out containers, dirty glasses, and piled up laundry, and we find ourselves overwhelmed.

Also there is a major cat problem, but that’s my next blog post.

But to sum up the major lessons I learned from this move:

1. If someone promises to talk to an eskici for you, make sure you have back-up, and then back-up for the back-up.

2. Dollies can be found and taken for a day at just about any of the little mom and pop hardware stores, and those stores are everywhere. Do not count on one on a Sunday.

3. If you arrange a van, do not expect it to arrive on time.

4. If you are trying to coordinate picking up and dropping off furniture with a bunch of your friends on a beautiful spring day that happens to also be a major teaching holiday, and all of your friends are teachers, expect quite a few of them to be surprised that the plan is still in effect. Expect everyone to clamor for their stuff to be dropped off first so they can still make it to the islands.

5. This from ‘Lina: Never be afraid to ask, and always be grateful, even if the answer is no.

Now, who has a philips head screwdriver I can borrow?

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