Thursday, October 17, 2013

I’m the “woman of the house”

As it’s approaching the departure date (less than 3 months to go) we are more excited and anxious day by day.
I’m resigning from my job two months before our “Big day” because I’m the “woman of the house”. João, the leader or the man of the family, works until the last minute before we take off.
Lately my colleagues been asking me about our progress of moving and being surprised knowing that I need 2 months just for preparing to move all of our stuff. “Why you take such a long time?” it’s a recurring question.
Most of you who read this post probably had experience of moving into a boat, but for some people who never moved, even between apartments, it’s difficult to imagine.
Six years ago we bought the house we living in after we had our “official” civil marriage in Macau. We completely dismantled the interior and built it the way we like. From the tiles to the door knobs or the paint of our colorful walls. For me was like a new start as I moved from my parent’s house to our own, the one we had chosen.
The kitchen in progress, with Portuguese tiles (Azulejos) 
Can you imagine how a fresh young couple stuffed their house? Like my husband calls me “Nouveau riche”. We have lots of stupid gadgets, everything you can imagine, and we installed air conditioner in all the rooms and even in the kitchen, heater in the bathroom. Whenever we bought electronic devices we always bought the most expensive one as my mentality says, if it’s expensive should be the best! Just for example, only our universal remote control was almost 5,000 HKD (over 500US$). All our apartment furniture is tailor made from the bed to the sofa and all other cabinets in the house. I can proudly say that our house is the coziest place with unique items that we chosen together.
Now the tragedy in my life has come, we have to sell or give away most of appliances, decorations and furniture or even give up our Mercedes –Benz class C to our good friend. Then we have to choose what items we want to keep and where to ship it to store.
My personal chef in our kitchen
In Macau we have storage places that we can rent and store our stuffs like in USA, however, here due to the lack of space (Macau it’s one of the most expensive places on earth in terms of house and space renting!) the prices are impossible because who knows how long we will be without coming back. Maybe never! We plan to put our house for rent or sell it if possible, so rented storage space is not our solution. It’s complicated when we have to coordinate the shipping to different locations, like Portugal and Thailand, or even try to find a solution to ship it to the Dominican Republic by postal service (for small items of course).
João always says “Thanks God, we don’t start our trip in Macau, otherwise our boat will sink because we would try to put everything into to it!”
I just want a comfortable life in our new house, and yes, I know, have to be frugal. Each person is a person, and each person who decides to live aboard is different. I respect the ones who were able to move in just with one luggage in hand but, for me, I won’t be able to change overnight and start a new life without personal belongings! I had been like this for more than 30 years!
My tailor made shoe cabinet full of stuff
The ordeal is not limited to shipping stuff, packing or moving things. We also have a myriad of legal documents and other paper work that need to be sorted out before we leave. Finance department, identification department, mailbox, insurance, vaccinations, bank accounts, dog and veterinary preparations, baby home school and academic program preparation etc... The list goes on and on. All of this brings us a lot of headache and it’s very tiresome.
Some of our belonging ready for shipping to Portugal
At the same time we can’t forget the details about the trip and the organization details like trying to find sponsors and other support until the day we leave Macau. My colleagues thought that we should be rich to go sail without working, however we are not and that’s why we have to plan everything very well.
Now you can see when I call myself “woman of the house” is because, even if I don’t have to work, it doesn't mean that I just go walk around and do nothing.
Apart from all the above, I still need to devote my time to our “dragon baby” and household affairs.

In fact, I will be busier than if I sit in the office and work in front of the computer!

---By NaE


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