I'm sitting here at 9pm on the Sunday, ready to go to bed. I have a raging headache. I think it's because there's so much to remember and my head is busting from its seams.
Saturday morning, as per arrangement (SHOCK!), the removal van arrived. It was a grizzled old man and his young black sidekick. What an odd pair. The dogs surprised us by not trying to take their heads off. In fact, they didn't even bark. I shut Specs into the bathroom, so the move could carry on around her. Heidi was put into our bedroom along with the things they weren't to take.
The old man's comment? "You have too many big things!" We laughed. That about describes our normal accumulation of furniture. It's always big and bulky and if Jurgis has made it? Even worse. The truck did 3 trips. It must be noted here that it wasn't a very big truck. I would have taken photos, but I was too busy packing last minute stuff and cleaning. Through all of this, the dogs were either following me or sniffing at the removal guys.
On the third trip, I got each of the men something to drink, at which point we discovered the old man, whose truck it was, was a diabetic. The young guy chatted. Apparently he's a builder's assistant during the week, but is a bit of a gaming geek. He likes to go on gaming weekends, where he games and wins huge prizes. He didn't elaborate much. He was a likeable guy with an open, friendly face.
I had to laugh. as much as the old man said we had too much (he mentioned it frequently), he insisted that that absolutely everything was taken, even the stuff we wanted to toss. As fast as I put it on the toss pile, he'd fetch it and load it up. He had quoted us R$130, but because it turned out to be 3 trips, he increased it (we expected that, as the quote was given blind and approximate by phone) to pay his helper 'a little more'. On the way back, he took Jurgis to a pub for a beer (he paid... yes, that is strange, but he's a strange man), so that Jurgis could have the peculiar priviledge of watching the assistant down a large helping of 'pinga' (pure cane spirit) in one gulp as though it were water.
We then called a taxi to take the last of the bits, personal stuff and valuable documents, and the cat and bird. Three taxi numbers later, we found someone available. He took us and the critters to the new house where I stayed.
I nearly had a fit when I walked in. Absolutely *everything* was stacked floor to ceiling in the bedroom! All the essential stuff was at the back under everything. This little house has one bedroom, a lounge, bathroom and kitchen. Specs took one look at the whole thing and fled into the mess in the bedroom. No, I took no photos. I had only a vague idea where the camera was at that point and both cat and bird were in covered containers.
We fell into bed after an ordered pizza at about 8:30pm, exhausted, and slept through to 8am this morning. It was hot. This little house is so hot!
Today, we managed to get some semblance of order into the kitchen, wire up a 220 power point (thanks Jurgis), without which little will function in our household. Jurgis did most of the hard slog. The poor guy is bushed and we're nowhere near done. He had just set up my pc, scanner, printer, etc, as I had to print lessons and scan timesheets for tomorrow morning when we got a call. "I'm on my way. What is the address again?" It was Jurgis' out of state cousin down for a visit. OMG! Flat panic. Jurgis was in ripped jeans and no shirt or shoes. I looked a mess. The toilet had a ladder poised over it (the 220 power is from the shower, which is right next to the toilet). The pantry is quite literally bare. We were in no condition to have visitors. We were expecting her, but only a week later.
And here was me saying, ".... It's not as though we get visitors anyway."
Nilza arrived with her brother and his wife in tow. In the lounge, we had two computer chairs... a plan had to be made *fast*. As it was, I spent all that time on my feet over the scanner. Nilza had brought old family photos for me to scan. The idea was that I would film her and Jurgis talking, so that we could finally nail down some of the names, faces and characters in the family tree on her side. She is the one who could fill in all the gaps for us.
Aside from the trauma of being inhospitible and not being able to offer the guests anything but water, it was a lovely visit. Nilza was as sweet as I expected. She seemed to prefer talking to me and leaving Jurgis to talk to her brother, Dito. Dito's wife wanted to talk technicalities of scanning (she plugged in her scanner and assumed it would self-install the way her printer did). Jurgis and Dito got along famously, ending the afternoon talking war wounds *sigh* What is it with old men? ; )
I took them out into the little 'garden' of pot plants and took photos there. The sun was excruciatingly hot. I think that's where the headache came from. Only Nilza seemed ok with it, but she comes from an even hotter state. After they left, I discovered they'd come all the way from Santos to visit! Santos is a beach town and an hour's drive on the freeway, depending on traffic. In holiday season or funky weather, the trip can take 3 hours. They left after making us promise to visit them and stay a while. I felt so bad that they had come all this way and not been offered anything now. I honestly thought they lived in the neighbourhood, as Nilza said she'd visit while she was staying with someone right here and she knows this area well.
In all though, it was good. At the start, I apologised to Nilza for my bad Portuguese. Her reply was, "Don't worry. I can understand you." Now that was a novelty for me. The reaction I usually get is, "Huh?" or "Não intendo. (Don't understand)" with a blank expression. As they left, Dito turned to me and said, "We're cousins now too." That was sweet.