Moving is tedious business. I've never done a move in Manila, but have had my share of best forgotten house/apartment moves in my college years and in Hong Kong. One memory comes to mind, helping a friend move from one apt to another from Hong Kong Island to Lamma; trying to figure out how to lift her mattress up the hill. Our beers were well deserved after that mess. Now that I think about it, the place she moved to was where she had an infestation of bats in the aircondition unit. Not that our travails were a cause or effect kind of thing.
I am now facing moving out of my parents home, something I've had planned for 8 years. Long time to be looking for a place to call my own, or at least to rent for myself, but it finally happened. I hope that the new pad will be a long-term venture, as I don't fancy looking again. Rentals in Manila are plain exorbitant and usually depressing. Too small, too smelly, too, too.
Last weekend, I got tired of imagining my things packed and started hauling the boxes and banigs that I would bring over. Cleaned out some books, packed the ones I didn't want into two bags to bring to Bound for consignment, and swept up some of the pieces that would follow me northward. As per my usual procrastination, I found myself reading some of the books instead of just dusting them off for the move. But I did manage to seperate the books I've read from one bookcase into three boxes, and one box of unread books into the other. I calculate I still have 10 to 15 boxes of books left to clean and pack.
Two of the books I decide to read betwixt moves is Nathaniel's Nutmeg, and One Hundred Years of Solitude. The former is a non-fiction narrative of how nutmeg changed the world, while everyone seems to have the latter in their best books I've ever read list.
I find Nutmeg rather charming, with passages on the long forgotten explorers, colonizers, adventurers from Elizabethan (the First) England, and their rivals, the Dutch. One of the most amusing yet enlightening bits tell of how the explorers and merchants kept on searching for a Northeast passage, through the Arctic and across Scandinavia/Russia, as a means to get to the Spice Islands faster. To the modern mind, it may seem remarkable that they could conceive that there was a speedier route cutting North, to the islands lying not far from Papau New Guinea and Australia. But without their sacrifice in lives, and the undeniable desire to keep finding new ways of getting to their destination (the bottom line is they wanted to get to the goods faster than their competitors, make money. Is that where the saying money makes the world go round comes from? Hmmm), we wouldn't have the global connection we do now. The global economy was already in full swing in those days, what with merchants bringing the best of the East to the buyers in the West. Eventually, that has come full circle, or at least to a point of McDonaldization (sic) of most of the international economy.
I have a few weeks left to move out and be on my own. I'm looking forward to the peace that will entail. Though I'm not looking forward to not having a maid to clean my room everyday and the little luxuries that come with staying with the parents. When I look at all I still have to clean and pack, I wish the Star Trek beam was not merely in our imaginations. I'd like to stick all the boxes in the middle of my room, press a few coordinates and presto, they'd be in the new place without my having to heft them over. Maybe with a few adjustments, the beam would magically hang up the clothes, sort out the books, and have a fresh cut flower all ready for when I walk through the door...
Sigh, back to the grind.