Monday, February 28, 2011

A painter is born...

...if you think Ravi Varma or Picasso…well its your own imagination that you have to blame because reality is an adult with a faded jeans and an even faded pullover with some white paint sticking to her curly hair, a paint brush standing on a stool in the middle of the living room wondering which part of the wall she painted last...

The story begins with Ashok and I deciding that we need to move to a bigger apartment (apt from here on). We answered the “budgetla thundu vizhume” Q with a solemn decision to reduce our travels (and ignored the “haha, like that’s ever going to happen” responses from within). Moving has always been a distant concept for me. I have lived in the same place and completed my schooling in the same city. Besides a brief sojourn in Trichy when appa got transferred (and the bank took care of all the moving, house hunting etc.) I have always called the same place my ‘home’. Moving to Munich from a furnished student apartment was also a piece of cake given that I had only 2 suitcases with some books and clothes (and no I did not have a dozen pairs of shoes then!). So this is my first official move and frankly it feels like I ran a double marathon over and over for a week!

The house hunting was unbelievably short and I liked the first apartment I saw and what’s more it was close to work and suited our needs perfectly. Just when I was beginning to think that moving is not all that complicated I got a letter from my house owner saying that I have to leave the apt cleaned and painted. After hours of packing (I couldn’t believe I had 4 cartons of books and no, I didn’t have the heart to throw or give them away) and multiple trips to the new house, we finally emptied the old one….except for some of the furniture. We had made a decision to throw away a futon and a writing table for very good reasons (read they were so beyond their prime that even ebay couldn’t help in selling them), only we didn’t know how. You cannot just throw the furniture into trash but you have to drive them to the Recycling area and even if we manage to get it down 2 floors, we didn’t have a truck to transport them (one needs a special license to rent and drive such trucks). So we called the city to pick them up, only they charge like crazy when you want them to come at a time that’s convenient to you – 50 bucks for every 15 min. So we had to get everything ready and just bite our nails and hope that they didn’t send a couple of slow moving lazy men….

Painting a couple of rooms white sounded quite simple to begin with but the catch is covering all other places that you didn’t want to be white (like wooden floors, electrical outlets) and then using varnish for the rest (door frames, window frames, heaters etc.). After painting came the cleaning….ohhhh… the cleaning…I think its excruciating to scrub a bathroom floor knowing that you will never use that bathroom again ! The worst part was the lunch break in-between when we were too hungry to make do with a coffee and croissant but also too dirty (and smelling of bleach) to go to some place decent. Those were the times I fondly remembered people moving in India….where friends/relatives or neighbours’ take care of the food for those days and painting is left to the house owner (of course at a small price).

Inspite of having a friend help and getting a day-off from work (In Germany, I get a ‘moving day’), we had to work all weekend and I couldn’t remember where I was when the alarm went off this morning! I slowly realised that I was in my new apt and that I have to go to work even if I couldn’t feel my arms and legs and go I did…wearing a cotton kurta at -2 deg C because I was too tired to look for the carton containing my pullovers....
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