Friday, March 30, 2007

Moving and Strength Training

After toying with the idea of getting friends to help out in our moving mission, we decided on a combination of self help and hired help.

The self help part started early this week when we made daily trip to our new home in our loaded minivan. My wife did the packing into boxes marked by different letters/numbers to signify different destinations in the house, e.g., K for kitchen, 2L for second floor left bedroom, and so on. And I do the heavy lifting, loading the boxes onto and unloading them from the minivan. I am very careful so as not to hurt my back: knee bent, and using the thigh and hand rather than the back muscles. And one box at a time, maybe two if they contain light materials such as clothing. So yesterday was the fourth strip, and each trip is like the image below so you get an idea of the efforts involved.

My wife commented that despite my not exercising as much as she does, I am still able to undergo some “hard labor”, thanks to my “grounding” during my earlier years.

My late father was a rubber dealer, buying and selling rubber sheets and scraps, the former from small holders and the latter, to rubber smoking factories (a literal translation) where they smoke-dry the machined rubber sheets made from rubber latex (a sap/secretion from rubber trees) into high quality rubber products. Since it was basically a family business, all the male siblings had one time or the other helped out in the rubber store.

Basically we would cycle every weekday (after school and lunch) about half a mile to the store. There the small holders would deliver their machined rubber sheets or scraps (these are remnants of rubber latex that have dried up overnight and are pulled from the cut grooves on the rubber trunk, sometimes containing some of the tree barks, and hence, are of lower quality and would fetch a lower price) in bicycles, motorcycles, cars, and small trucks/pickups.

Our job is to carry the rubber products by hand to a weighing machine. Each load could run from tens of katis (one kati is more than a pound but less than two, I’ll have to look that up) to over 100 katis, shared by two persons. And we started doing this while in elementary schools (aged 11) but on a graduated scale starting from smaller loads in proportion to our (growing) physique. And this weight training for me lasted until my Junior High when I had to skip town for further schooling but would still be around to go through the same drill during holidays. So I have had really good physical training that would last me a life time of strength and health as I’m enjoying now.

But the physical toil did take its toll on my blogging, which has become a case of mind willing but body failing. So the past few nights I’ve been going to bed earlier than usual and I’m getting worried that I would fall victim to the very thing that I have ranted about, the virtual cobwebs, here. And not at a time when the same blog article has inspired our D from Oregon to start dusting off her blog site. There’s where the hired help comes in.

And I let my finger do all the walking, thumbing through the Yellow Pages, under the Movers section. After a few phone calls, I had our reservation. It so happened that we wanted to move on Friday (March 30), an auspicious day for conducting such a business as moving according to the Chinese calendar, and moving services are hard to come by on weekends. So University Moving it is.

The mover’s truck with two men came right on time at 9.00 this morning. And even as I was blogging, stuff was gradually disappearing from my view. And it looks like this would be my last blog from this house that has been our home for the past three years.

So long Post Hyde Park. And USF/MOSI here we come.


Kitty Girl said...

Aaahh!! I can't wait to see the new place!! And I, too, understand the pains of moving... You feel like you've packed half the house but in reality, you've only just skimmed the surface...! It's crazy! I like to take that opportunity (and I've had many, having moved several times in the past 3 1/2 years) to go through my stuff and throw out/give away/donate whatever I no longer need.

And then there's the actual moving part... *shudder* And even then, you're not done yet, because the old apartment must be cleaned... And after the cleaning comes the unpacking and settling into the new place... Phew! Even though we moved in last August, Dan and I are still rearranging furniture, having moved from one bedroom to the next and back again (now that we have a larger bed, thanks to Uncle Bee Hoe and Stella).

Good job on the move!

Say Lee said...

Yes, it's the trilogy of moving: the packing and moving, the cleaning of the old apartment, and the unpacking. At least we are done with the first two.

As for the unpacking, it will be a strategic one: those necessary items first, which means our book collection will probably be the last to see the light, literally.

But at least our first move is to our own home. So hopefully the stay this time around will be much longer than the first one.

Eric said...

I d moved from Lumut to Ipoh Garden South, Ipoh in Aug 1981, Ipoh Garden south to Hala Istana, Ipoh in Sept 1982, Hala Istana to Lim Garden, Ipoh end 1983. From Ipoh to Bukit Mertajam 1991, from Bukit Mertajam to Bukit Minyat 1993. From Bukit Minyat to Tmn Megah PJ 1995 and finally settled down in my own house in Tmn Sea in 1998. The joy of shifting to yr own home is overwhelming. I m the Si Fu of shifting house, no sweat. hehe.

Say Lee said...

I counted 7 times. In my 25 year career in Malaysia, I've only moved twice: Muar to Raub, and Raub to our PJ home. So in that resepct you do have more experience in the nuts and bolts of moving.

Eric said...

All the best to your new home.