It has been a while. Finally the arrival of our container. It’s amazing to think it came all the way by boat from California! I imagine our sofa floating somewhere in the middle of the ocean like the boy in Life of Pi. It has travelled a lot at this stage and is obviously able to withstand the rough seas. Maybe I should inform the manufacturer of its amazing ability to cross oceans and adapt to new cultures and humidity levels.
The 20ft container holds all the things we own and the memories created so far, with the exception of a pair of surfboards and two wedding outfits who are still hanging around Europe. They just refused to leave the continent. Fair enough I guess. Since leaving Cork we have been a little nomadic and our belongings have pretty much reduced to items we actually use, although our camping gear has moved to the back of the wardrobe on this occasion. Unfortunately our most used item, the coffee machine, turns out not to be working. It has a different voltage being purchased in the US and the fuse of its accompanying transformer blew so good luck with that. Perhaps it can catch a ride back to the US with a returning American expat. In the meantime I am using at least one of our camping props.
It is nice to be surrounded by familiar things especially since many things look unfamiliar on a daily basis. Our home could now be anywhere in the world again except for the funny ‘sculpture’ hanging out in the hall. I could not bring myself to ask the landlord to take it since it weighs about as much as our full container did.
The things we own I guess reflect our interests. Apart from our furniture and the boring practical stuff like ironing boards and hoovers (sorry vacuum cleaners) most of what came out of boxes were books, things to cook with and more books about things to cook with. There was also the long desired hat and of course our bicycles. We have now surpassed the newbie stage transport wise although we may still need to buy an e-bike.
We could have put it all out on display like some of the families in these very interesting projects. Photographers Huang Qingjun and Ma Hongjie worked together on a project documenting family possessions in China. They convinced families to move all their possessions out of their homes and be photographed with them. Some great images can be viewed on ChinaSmack. A slightly older version of the same idea came together in the book Material World. Photojournalist Peter Menzel brought together a team of photographers to create portraits of families and their possessions that were statistically average for a particular nation. They visited and lived in 30 of them.
Anyway, stews are back on the menu as it is getting colder so I’m glad to have my Dutch oven back. And I think our blankets will soon come back out of the wardrobe too!0