Moving house the Kampala way

What was I thinking?

We have moved A LOT so when I called a moving company to shift our things from Shoebox to The Villa I thought I was dealing with a professional situation.  It  started well, a well spoken gentleman in a dark car with tinted windows came to look around and give us an estimate. I thought we were going to be in good hands. That was on Thursday at 6pm. By Monday there was still no estimate in my inbox. Finally I received a text saying that his email was down and that the price would be 660,000 shillings ( $325.) I am not sure where he got that price from, probably somewhere in his head because when I texted a quick reply that I found his price outrageous he, without much hesitation, came down to 555,000 shillings. No, I replied, that was still too steep, particularly considering the fact that we would be doing most of the packing and it was a simply a small shoebox full of things. I said we would not consider paying a shilling over 400,000. Then silence. Nothing. I started to panic. We were moving in three days and we had no men, no truck and no boxes. This morning I learnt the lesson I should have learnt back when I was 14. Play hard to get.  He called and agreed to my price and promised to come over at 5.30 pm to deliver boxes and collect his 50% deposit.

I was excited. Hope filled our small home as we sat and waited and waited. By the time he rolled up at 7.45pm we were deep into a power cut and the idea of filling boxes was turning into a fantasy.

You know how boxes normally come flat, new and stiff? Well silly me for forgetting I was in Africa. These boxes are probably on their 7th trip around the block, a motley assortment of sizes, they are and bent out of shape too. Did I imagine maybe 20 or so boxes? Well we have 7. They did use tape to turn them back into the boxes they once and more than once were but they had no scissors. Luckily we did.

Over in the Great Shiny West we use brand new boxes to move and then we throw them onto the curb. Here nothing is wasted, nothing is thrown out. No wonder he was insisting on unpacking in the new house. He wants his boxes back!

I have no idea how Friday will go.

The charming thing is that both Princess and Trooper ran upstairs to pack their room by candlelight.


Filed under Family Stuff, Might be funny, Uganda

3 responses to “Moving house the Kampala way

  1. craziness…and a reminder of perhaps how easily we forget our riches, even if they are measured in cardboard boxes.

    good luck moving:) and have fun…well, as much fun as you can have…

  2. Erika McDonald

    A very good reminder of the differences, here in HK, the moving-companies comes with a big crew and are very efficient. All brand-new boxes. When they unpacked our stuff and said, we are taking lunch and will be back by 1 o´clock, they were back working five to one, I was very impressed by that.

  3. Robyn

    Can’t wait to see the Villa! Wine surrounded by boxes is always the best way to bless a house!

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