Friday, 27 January 2017

Does it bring me joy?

Oh, the joys of packing up...

With our Summer holiday and our involvement in the Australian Open tennis largely behind us, attention must be focussed on our upcoming move to Bangkok. The packers are in tomorrow. Somehow this has not been an easy move, but then are they ever?

It got a tad complicated when my house-hunting trip to Bangkok before Christmas saw us return without resolving the issue of where to live... As we have nowhere to live, we are not sure what to take, or what to leave in storage.

Our first appointment with Santa Fe WridgWays, our removal company found us disorganized, unenthusiastic (me) and with totally different opinions of what we wanted to pack, store or chuck. Mr. Santa Fe politely told me later this is perfectly normal behaviour!

It was disappointing that our house-hunting trip to Bangkok had ended badly. The first day was full of promise and I excitedly determined a shortlist of three apartments which would more than do for our new nest. I was full of hope for an exciting move to a new country with endless opportunity for travel.

However, one by one all potential places fell by the wayside, too expensive, next to a major development and already leased, sorry! 

Everyone tells me Bangkok is a fantastic and growing expat destination. It's a good Asian hub for companies. Cheaper than Hong Kong and Singapore, centrally located, the airport has good connections across the region and it's arguably easier to do business than Kuala Lumpur. The foreigners generally enjoy the vibrant life and living in the land of smiles. My Aussie friends, now back from their not so exotic overseas assignments, talk of longing for visits to Bangkok, the Brits excited by the opportunity for shopping at Tesco's supermarket or Boots the Chemist!

In the same breath, I am told how amazing the apartments are. Not on my watch! I remember from our Hong Kong days how the combination of high humidity and high pollution can rapidly propel an apartment from lovely to yuck in a few weeks. So there I was with tape measure in hand ready to sign a lease and measure up, only to be told it was already leased and instead shown a grotty, unrenovated apartment. I couldn't wait to leave the stinky, polluted place.

So after six major International moves and looking for what would be our tenth home in twenty plus years I thought I knew what I was doing. Apparently not. Slightly flummoxed by not knowing what we are packing for, the job became a lot harder.

It appears corporate relocations have changed over the years. Gone are the golden days of expat moves where in our case the company paid for everything to be moved or stored, no thinking required. Just take it all and sort out at the other end, a team of packers on hand at every turn. Now we are working to what Australian's would call a rather, excuse my French, a 'tight-arsed' budget! 

Bangkok apartments are generally fully furnished and there is the opportunity to go with very little and start from scratch. For me, that is appealing ... as long as the furniture is reasonable and we get a good nights sleep on the notoriously rock-hard beds... Note to selves, to take our own mattresses.

So that brings us to walking around with Mr Santa Fe discussing various household items. It appears that Mr Wren and I see trash or treasure differently. It felt like we are playing some weird game of paper, rock, scissors. The question "what about this?" appeared simple enough. 

Mr Santa Fe Ipad in hand, duly notes responses pointing at each item of furniture. The only answers are 'store, pack or trash'. Mr Wren and I successfully managed to produce a different answer to each item of furniture. 

Infact, such was our divergence in agreement that if we ever managed the same answer, we added the word Bingo! It was so not funny. I think that packing brings out my inner hysteria.

Remedial help was required and turning to my Little Wren Facebook page, our friends were quick to offer their support and advice. I was reminded of Marie Kondo's fabulous book 'the life-changing magic of tidying.'

The book promises to help you treasure the things you love and let go of the things you don't. With each item you ask 'does it spark joy?' Once this is resolved you can create a beautiful home and find the confidence and motivation to live the life you longed for .... ( I have no idea what this means if you are quite happy with the life you already had?!) and make space for future success.

Ok, ok s'pose future success could bring me joy
Bring it on!!!

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