Friday, April 11, 2008

8 December: Emptying of the Home

We feasted on the fabulous breakfast buffet at SI-Suites this morning and then headed back to Botnang to preside over the emptying of our house. (We left Cody and Scotty behind at the hotel with the “do not disturb” sign on the door.) Jürgen, Sonja, and Uwe’s son arrived around 11:00 with a large refrigerated van to move out all of their purchases. Don’t ask me why or how they managed to borrow a refrigerated van, it’s just significant because a refrigerated van has a lot less space in it than a regular van, and they really had to do a stellar packing job to get everything to fit. We said goodbye to a lot of big items in one fell swoop: our beloved red microfiber couch, which had been the bright and comfortable focal point of our living room, two coffee tables, our TV, stereo, and TV stand, the china cabinet from the dining room, the small red convertible sofa from the office, and a variety of smaller items. I told Jürgen I was pregnant (to explain why I was unable to lift heavy objects) and I swear it brought a tear to his eye! We also managed to offload a bunch of odds and ends on Jürgen and Sonja that we hadn’t been able to sell to anyone, including our fire extinguisher and some random kitchen items.

We had a slight lull before the next round of pick-ups. A stylishly-dressed young woman in stiletto-heeled boots came with a couple of friends in tow to pick up our bed in the early afternoon. (I had taken the bed off of eBay because I thought that someone from John’s work was going to buy it, but that fell through. Then someone from the Stuttgart Newcomers group took an interest in the bed, but was unable to make the trip out to Stuttgart to look at it. I was getting rather desperate when, quite fortuitously, an eBay bidder contacted me to ask if the bed was still for sale, and I was able to negotiate a price of 100 Euro.) They were able to take the bed apart in no time and somehow managed to get the whole thing in their car, mattress and all.

Another eBay buyer arrived a short while later to pick up the bookcase from the office, for which he happily gave us 23 Euro. Brenda was next – she took a wooden crate, bathroom accessories, and a few other small items, along with some of my herbs and spices. And finally Katrina arrived with her boyfriend Sven to pick up our blue Ikea chair. They don’t have a car, so Katrina had already taken pieces of the matching ottoman home on the train over the course of several visits to my house. I felt badly that they had to lug the chair back with them in pieces all the way to Ludwigsburg, but they didn’t seem to mind.

By the end of the day, we were down to only a few large pieces – our bedroom wardrobe, which will be picked up tomorrow morning, my low dresser, the living room rug, and a few other odds and ends. An eBay buyer is supposed to pick up the rug on Monday afternoon. Last week John spoke to the guy who bid on the Spannungswandler (that’s the voltage converter), but he lives a couple of hours away and hasn’t been able to figure out how to get here to pick up. John told him that the converter was worth a hefty sum of money and it was really worth the trip since he was only paying 6 Euro for it, but we aren’t holding out much hope that he will come. I think John will be able to offload it on Jürgen if we can’t get anyone else to take it.

We haven’t managed to sell any of the light fixtures, not even the ceiling fans, so we are just going to have to leave those to the next tenants, along with some of the curtains. Which reminds me, after that huge fiasco with the Dörrs over the price of our kitchen, we finally settled on a price of 1000 Euro, only to find out later that the new tenants are actually going to buy the kitchen from us instead of the Dörrs. The Dörrs of course told them that we would sell it for 1000 Euro, when we would have naturally liked to get more for it! Oh well. I suppose we should be happy that we don’t have to rip the kitchen out and leave it on the street for the junk scavengers!

It was dark and drizzling by the time we got back to SI-Suites, so we could only give poor Cody, who had been cooped up in the room all day, a meager evening walk around the empty fields near the hotel.

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