Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Apartment

Okay, so this is something I should have posted approximately four months ago, but too bad. Why four months ago? Because that's when I moved into a residence where, for the first time since high school, I plan to live for more than two years. And honestly, based on the nightmarish moving experience we had I'd be okay if I lived here for the rest of my life just so I never have to bother packing and unpacking ever again.

Luckily my roommate Sarah and I had some overlap in living situations so we could move a little bit at a time, but we decided to spend one day renting a moving van and getting the big stuff out of the way. Even better, our friend Danny offered to split it with us so he could move his stuff up to San Francisco.

But then there was The Couch. It was a beautiful couch. We found it on Craigslist from a guy who also sold us his beautiful TV cabinet. The Couch was up in San Francisco too, so we figured it would be easy to drop off Danny's stuff at his new apartment, swing by to get the couch, and then finish the moving day back at our apartment. In the end, this is pretty much what happened, but only if you leave out the miserable details.

Moving in general took much longer than we expected, so we didn't end up getting to the apartment to pick up the couch until about 11pm. When we arrived our van was still packed with Danny's stuff because we hadn't had time to unload it at his apartment yet. The couch seller said his neighbors were sensitive to noise and it would obviously be a challenge to silently move a couch and cabinet down four flights of stairs. We tried to be as quiet as possible, but the banging into walls was inevitable. Soon there was an angry British man in a short bathrobe out in the stairwell asking if we knew what time it was. While I understand that he was probably sleepy and annoyed, I had to wonder if he thought we had made this decision to move at midnight for our sheer enjoyment. Did we look like we were having fun? Because I was sweaty and disgusting and pretty sure that my muscles were going to give out at any moment. But that's how I like to spend my free time, so yes, Sir British Man, I am doing this just to annoy you. And no, I didn't know I was making any noise.

By the time we got everything outside Sarah and I practically had to gag Danny to keep him from yelling, "Wait, who won the Revolutionary War?" at random windows. Fortunately we distracted him by trying to figure out what we should do with these giant pieces of furniture when we already had a full moving truck. This was the best solution we could come up with:

And so we left our fantastic Craigslist finds with crossed fingers and a plan to move Danny's stuff into his apartment at light speed. Naturally, this plan was thwarted when his bed frame wouldn't fit in the front door. So we tried the back door, which involves hopping a fence and braving a fire escape, and of course it didn't fit there either. Next thing I knew, it was 2am and I was sitting in an unlit backyard using the wrong kind of wrench to unscrew a headboard.

But wait, there's more. With a finally empty moving van we drove back to pick up the couch and cabinet from the alleyway where we'd tried to "hide" them. I wasn't too worried--we'd been gone for maybe an hour and a half and anyway, who's trolling for free furniture at 2am? Apparently someone is because as we pulled up to the apartment we say a shadowy figure sprint away from where our couch was, hop in a car (that already had its lights on), and speed away. Seriously?!

Fast forward a 45 minute drive back to Foster City and we were ready to get the furniture into its new home. We'd discovered when moving the couch out that the only way to get it through doorways was to stand it on it's end and push the bottom through the door. So we got it into the hallway of our apartment building, started to flip it on its end, and then it stopped. Tall couch + low ceiling = physical impossibility. At 3am with no mental or physical energy left, we were at a loss. The only other door to our apartment is the door to the patio, which happens to be surrounded by an eight-foot fence. At 3am, after about 18 straight hours of moving, we agreed that it was worth it to keep the moving van for another day and leave the couch until we could figure something out.

Don't worry, there's a happy ending. The moral of this story is that eight-foot fences cannot be conquered by three weak, exhausted movers in the wee hours of the morning. But they can be conquered by four kind, generous, wonderful friends who have nothing better to do than drive to Foster City and help out their fellow teachers.

Welcome home.


Linda said...

Even hearing about it all these months later, your moving experience sounds pretty horrible. Here's hoping you will be safely in your little home for several years, moving only when some magnificent opportunity comes along.

Credit said...

I had a similar experience with a beautiful couch I bought many years ago at Trasure Mart. At the time I lived on the second floor of a house on Division that could only be entered by a stairwell that made a 90 degree turn about halfway up as it narrowed or by fire escape. To make a long (try three seperate full days trying to get it through various windows) story short, the couch ended up staying on the front porch for 8 months.