Liz O'Reilly reflects on the trauma of moving house
Time Out Bahrain staff
After almost four years in Bahrain, I’ve finally succumbed to the charms of island life (I blame that feature in the February issue) and am packing up and moving to Amwaj.
And oh how I wish I had the genie-like power to twitch my nose and find myself magically transported to my new abode without the need for countless hours spent carefully bubble-wrapping precious things while knowing that either I or my movers will manage to break at least something along the way.
Since I'm moving from one furnished flat to another, you'd have thought transferring my belongings would not be too arduous a task.
Ha! We’re talking about the woman who blithely told my first Bahrain employers I wouldn't need shipping from the UK since I would only be bringing ‘a couple of suitcases’.
Eleven pieces of luggage and £750 of excess baggage later…well how was I to know I’d be able to buy Christmas decorations in a Muslim country? And of course, I couldn’t forsake the case full of CDs. Ipod you say, what's that?
But honestly, those were clearly essentials. Four years on, do I really need three mosque alarm clocks and an equal number of singing camels – bought, I hasten to add, as gifts and never quite posted.
And what about the piles of fashion and fitness magazines? Fitness, well that’s a laugh and anyone who knows me will attest that I am, at best, sartorially challenged, at worst, downright scruffy so what attraction can a 2010 copy of Harpers Bazaar possibly hold?
Likewise, just how many pairs of black jeans does one woman need? Obviously the numerous pairs of pretty but pointless (and painful) shoes need neither excuse nor explanation but seven pairs of black jeans – I’m beginning to think I may have a problem here.
And I’m clearly not the only one. Going through the kitchen cupboards sorting out what’s mine and what's the landlord's, I was gratified to find not one, not two but three toasters, none of them mine. That said, I do have two irons (the first one didn’t steam properly) but no ironing board, a juicer that’s never been used, a diffusing hairdryer and curling irons, refer to my previous comment about sartorial challenges, and more make-up, body lotion and anti-wrinkle cream than you can shake an exceptionally well-groomed stick at.
My problem, aside from the black jeans addiction, is that I’m moving from a large two-bed to a small one-bed. Being just five doors from the beach is worth it but still, all this STUFF is simply not going to fit!
So, a trip to the charity shop it is. But do I offload the much-loved old pictures in favour of new ones that have yet to make it onto the walls? Can I really bear to part with the soft toys donated as going away presents? Yep that one’s a no-brainer. And will I really miss the evening dress I forgot about in the dry cleaner’s for five months?
Well, one things for sure, I’m not short of carrier bags to load them in…47 at the last count!