Thursday, 29 September 2011

Living in a Christo Project

My house house has boxes everywhere now.... like by a tornado the movers go through my house and all my precious and not so precious belongings disappear in cardboard. The movers turn out to be real wrapping artists; I feel like I am living in a Christo project!!!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Strong language and culturally insensitive subject matter

Now that I am getting closer to THE BIG DAY, I am consistently dividing my belongings into 6 categories:
Category 1:. Handcarry. Two suitcases, max weight 40kg. Like a really, really long trip. This I can do. Just like one of my recent Asia visits. But longer.
Category 2: Airfreight. I get to take 100 kgs by airfreight, which will all be taken care of by the moving company. Here it gets difficult already. My electric guitar? Definitely. The amp? Hmm.. 10 kgs... Lets just do the preamp and headphones. My new coffee machine? Tempting... but including the grinder it will be around 50 kgs, so I decide, sadly, against it.
Category 3: Sea container. This will be the bulk of my stuff, I will only have it sent after getting a final place in Singapore (hopefully after a few months). I go through the restrictions of goods to bring into Singapore. Alcoholic beverages turn out to be a nono. The import taxes are simply too high! So it all needs to be consumed this week. (Parteeee!) But then my DVDs: I read that 'nudity, strong language and culturally insensitive subject matter' is forbidden. So this totally rules out my seasons of "Curb your enthusiasm". But how about Seinfeld? That was on public TV, so should be OK. And Madonna's Drowned World Tour DVD? I seem to remember it's got it all: nudity, strong language and definitely culturally insensitive subject matter. It's got to go! Then I read the following sentences: Charges for screening DVDs are 4 Sing$ per DVD hour. I realize there will actually be some dude looking at my DVDs! Only Cartoons and childrens's movies exempt, which in my case is all condensed in one masterpiece: 'Finding Nemo'. I decide to leave all my DVDs here.
Together with my Samurai Sword from my old Aikido classes, even though I spent many hundreds of hours mastering some basic moves (I just do not have the right permit for it for Singapore)
Category 4: Storage. Apart from my samurai sword and above mentioned DVDs, this will include big pieces of furniture, books, and anything else I do not (yet) want to get rid of. It will sit here in NL patiently, waiting for my return.
Category 5: Stay in the house. To accommodate my new (still to be found) renters I will leave some closets and garden equipment, so at least they will have the opportunity to mow and water my lawn (as if).
Category 6: To get rid of. The hardest category. Even though they already know me at the recycling store ("Yo Benny, got some more of those pleated pants?") I want to limit this. It is really really hard to dispose of my little inflatable rowing boat that I successfully used to conquer the seas, albeit some 25 yeas ago for the last time. But yes, the toughest decisions fall into this category. Bye Bye Little Boat, I hope some kid, somewhere, will get equal pleasure out of you.

OK I you will now excuse me, I have a mobile internet account to cancel.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Preparations to move

It is now exactly one week before my move to Singapore. Anyone who has ever moved to a foreign country will recognize this: you will have to erase every single membership and subscription that you have! In my case: of course all the insurances, but also cable, internet, alarm services, landline, my vhf permit for the boat... And you would say in this day and age this can all be done by email and internet. Well... Not! At least not in the Netherlands. Whereas a short phone call can get you hooked up as a paying member to pretty much anything for the rest of your life, getting rid of such a subscription usually implies paper forms, signatures, stamps (do you remember from the old days?). Obviously registered mail is highly recommended....

Now going through my house, sieving out all stuff I can do without. Which is quite a lot, illustrated by the unopened boxes from my last move!
The good news: I do have a temporary place to stay now: Far East Plaza at Scotts Road. Really down town!!!
Copy and paste this... you will see the street view. Could not make an elegant link here yet, but I will surely master that soon!,-95.677068&sspn=35.494074,79.013672&vpsrc=6&ie=UTF8&hq=Far+East+Plaza&hnear=Scotts+Rd,+Singapore&t=h&fll=1.307581,103.833922&fspn=0.002735,0.004823&st=116283833822554456703&rq=1&ev=zi&split=1&ll=1.307297,103.833048&spn=0.002606,0.004823&z=18&iwloc=A&layer=c&cbll=1.307297,103.833048&panoid=e1HgD19o3uO9cCohqBZnhg&cbp=12,79.43,,0,8.82