Packing Up in Seoul
September 8, 2010 — Packing day has arrived. They say moving ranks among the top of the list for the most stressful things you can do in life. I agree, that’s probably true, but, also, it doesn’t seem like it should have to be so stressful. In my most recent experience, I’m happy to say that this time, it was a relatively painless and simple process. I’m sure that’s due in large part to the fact that we were lucky enough to have movers come and pack everything in our house. My only job was to be on hand to answer questions, oversee packing and make sure everything got listed on the packing list. Of course, I usually spend weeks getting ready in advance for “pack out day.” Well, maybe “weeks” is a bit optimistic. I spend as much time as I’m given advance notice that we’re going to move. In Japan and Korea, that hasn’t been more than a few weeks, but after having moved when my first child was a mere 6 weeks old, another time when my mother passed away, and another time while I was pregnant (and terrified of giving birth in a foreign country) this move has felt like a piece of cake.
The Korean packers were so easy to work with. Their English fluency is much higher than that of the movers in Japan. Being able to communicate is a definite advantage. They also skillfully wrapped everything in brown paper and cardboard so there’s limited damage to the items as they make their way across the ocean on their long journey. I was pleased to see what care they took with all our possessions.
The moving crew came a day early to “pre-pack” a few things, which I later learned meant, “pack up as much of the house as we can possibly do in one day.” I’m glad I was prepared from an organizational standpoint, but we weren’t ready for that emotionally. It was a bit harder on the kids than I expected. Still, it worked out for the best because the movers finished packing us out a day early and there was a huge rain storm the next day. Luckily we weren’t moving out in flood-like conditions. It did rain a little, but it was not too bad. It’s rained every time I have moved.
Have you ever wondered how people in high-rise apartments move their goods in and out? It’s quite ingenious. A huge ramp is raised to the level of the apartment, the windows are removed and everything is hauled up or down on a sliding platform. The movers offered to let me ride it up to our apartment, but I didn’t feel like dying that day so I said, “No, thank you.”
After the boxes are lowered, each piece gets packed tightly in a large wooden crate and each crate is nailed shut. The crates are stenciled with our name and new address and then hauled to the shipping dock where they’re loaded on a ship and brought over the ocean to our new continent.
Here are some moving day photos. It’s so strange to see the house packed away in mounds of boxes.
We live on the third floor so the lift doesn’t have to go very far. But, do you know what happens when you live on the 15th or 20th or 30th floor? You just use a longer lift. See it in the pictures below? This one goes up really high!!
Now we’ll stay in the Dragon Hill Lodge on Yongsan until our travel day. We’ll have several more days to say good-bye to Seoul and our friends.