moving house the Dubai way
Well, we finally found our new home. Not a bad spot as I think I mentioned in my blog post you think you know traffic. But now, we feel just that little bit more legitimate as Dubai residents given that we have been through the ultimate experience of moving house, the Dubai way!
We had been told that, like everything else here, you can pay people to do most of the move for you. I never really understood what that meant, nor to what extent you could find the help you need but, as with everything else, I went into it with an open mind and a slight feeling of nervousness.
Every other move I have done in my life has been quite epic. The move period starts months out from the actual move and as you draw closer, you increasingly become more obsessed with boxes – boxes everywhere you look; every shop you go into you are looking for boxes; even driving along the street, you keep an eye out for abandoned boxes. Then, once you are all set for boxes, you begin the search for paper to wrap the things in the boxes. This is then a case of begging at newspaper outlets, digging through recycling depots for decent left over paper and even, in some cases, buying wrapping paper from hardware stores. Not to mention the requirement for tape, foam, bubble wrap and every other moving associated material and implement.
Then the big day finally comes and you nervously await the burly removalists and begin to pray for the china and the piano peddles. If your place has stairs, there’s many a nervous breath being held that the burly men’s arms will hold and that your prize 19th century fully resorted amoir doesn’t go rattling down to a sad and lonely death.
Assuming you make it this far, then comes the utterly exhausting and slightly depressing unpack- it always starts well with everything going to its new home…. by the end of the day, things are getting shoved in cupboards, drawers and anywhere else they can’t be seen and you are left wondering, why on earth do we keep moving around so much useless stuff!!
Can I tell you, moving house the Dubai way could not be any further from this picture if it tried. This really is a thing of beauty!
The weeks leading up to this move were only stressful for other things going on in our life – finding the right apartment, a job, a daycare, a car… all those things we still hadn’t sorted out in our lives. But the mechanics of moving never really came onto the radar. I need to clearly state that – we did not pack ONE box… NOT ONE!!!!
So, moving day arrives. And what did we do you might ask? Well, we got up, got dressed, had some grain free granola and headed off to drop kids at school and then went to work. I literally did not give the move one thought except to make sure I had grabbed my passport and my one piece of valuable jewelery from my bedroom. In fact, during the day, someone asked me where I lived and I nonchalantly replied – “oh, we’re moving today actually.”
And then it hit me… I had not packed one thing. No bubble wrap had entered my life and the only boxes in our vicinity were the ones left in our spare room from moving over.
At the end of the day, we drove to pick up the little man and then headed to our new apartment to do bathtime and make some dinner.
So, I bet you are wondering what on earth happened? Why was I was so calm? Did the move actually happen? Where was all our stuff? did we change the date?? Had we made a huge mistake and all our stuff was still sitting there in our old apartment?
Nope – this is what you call moving house the Dubai way.
You book a moving company, haggle over the price (if you are my lovely thrifty husband) and you agree a day. Then you leave them the keys, go to work, and come home to your freshly moved and fully set up apartment. It is actually somewhat surreal. I mean, we got to our new apartment and our dishes were in the cupboards, all in one piece. The cutlery was in the kitchen draws. The clothes were folded in draws and hung in cupboards. They had put Chub’s teddies back in his cot and hung his sleeping bag over the side where I left it. Even the food we had in the fridge was back in the fridge, ready to use for dinner. I reckon if I’d left a half eaten bowl of cereal out it would have been right back on the table where I left it! Truly an amazing experience.
The moving companies by all accounts, have teams of 20-30 people who have made moving an actual art form. They swarm on the place, pack up every single item in site and even find the ones that are not, and they pack it all up in cars and trucks and schlep it over to your new place – stairs, lifts, security guards, whatever comes their way. It is such a wonder and yet really quite a simple concept. Why has this not been thought of before? Why is this not how moving is done all over the world??
The only negative I can find in this whole experience is that I think we are going to have to stay in Dubai for the rest of our lives. I really don’t think I can go back to a world where you actually have to pack your own stuff – cardboard, paper, bubble wrap. It’s just not for me.
However, I’m sure I will know that I’ve been here too long if we end up moving again, and all of a sudden I’m complaining about how the dishes were put in the wrong cupboards, or they mixed up the bathroom towels and put ours in the kids rooms or something equally mundane. If I ever lose the sense of wonder and the thrill of joy you get walking into a brand spanking new apartment that you contributed absolutely nothing to, then I know, I have been ruined and I must return to the ‘real world’.
For now, I’m very happy to sit back, lovely icy bubbles in hand, and drink in the beautiful sunset under the watchful eye of the Burj al Arab and the Arabian Gulf and feel gratitude towards that crazy person who thought “why don’t we open a moving company that actually does the moving for you”. Bless you oh crazy one – bless you!!