On my last moving post (and by that, I mean my last post on moving, not my last post that was written so well that it moved you), I left the hub and his buddy walking along a dark highway in the central of Central Asia with nothing but a pocket flashlight. Fortunately, they were expanding the road, so there was a large gravel lane they could walk on and not be afraid of cars whooshing up from behind and hitting them in the dark. However, they didn’t plan on the dogs.
Central Asia has quite a feral dog problem. When we lived in the Big City, we were told never to go out past midnight. Crime wasn’t the reason our neighbors told us this — it was the packs of dogs that roamed. Once, when we were walking home at 11:45, we actually saw a pack. (I guess they were out early that night. Perhaps their watches were wrong.) There are thousands of feral cats as well, but since cats are not predisposed to form packs and their size doesn’t pose a threat to most people, we don’t worry about them. The dogs, we do.
So, on the horizion, barely visible in the night, some wild dogs appeared. (Of course, since Bean & I were safely tucked away in a friend’s home in the Big City, I have this part of the story thirdhand. I’m sure I didn’t embellish it any. Surely.) The hub and his bud stopped and stared them down. Slowly, my hub reached down and picked up a handful of rocks. His bud followed suit. The dogs followed them from a distance, but never got closer. I guess the handful of rocks and the flashlight were enough to scare them away. Whew, crisis averted.
They eventually made it to a gas station. While they waited for a mechanic to arrive, they had dinner and drank a ton of tea. When the guy showed up at 11:30 that Sunday night, he drove them out to the car, put in a new battery so it would run, took it to the garage, and then took the guys to a truck he needed to work on. That’s right. He had another stop to make, so he just took the guys along. I think they got to help some. Then, he dropped them off at a little hostel in the middle of Onion Town. The guys said it was decent and clean, but nothing like a Holiday Inn. The next morning they woke up and looked out the window. They were situated on the town square, right across from the big onion depository. Women were sorting onions into sizes and packing them in bags. Men were sewing the bags shut and loading trucks. As far as the eye could see, or at least in the entire lot until the buildings started, there were onions.
The mechanic fixed the alternator and replaced another part that he had to get delivered from a bigger city an hour away. This, in addition to taking care of the guys very late on a Sunday night, helping them find a hotel, and making sure they got on the right road — only cost about $80. Now that’s service.
The trip should have taken around 15 hours — 6 hours there, 3 hours to load up, and 6 hours to return. Instead, they arrived home 27 hours later. I immediately began repacking all of our bags and boxes. I took over the living room of our friend’s house and put it all into three giant piles: Take, Maybe, and No. Then, we started packing every bag we could find.
The end result: 3 suitcases, 4 large duffel bags, 2 medium duffel bags, 1 large hamper packed with stuff and wrapped with rugs and plastic bags, 1 large box with all of our pictures in it, 1 huge wrapped package with 3 rugs in it, 1 stroller, 1 pack and play box that was also shoved full with other items, 1 computer bag, 1 carry-on suitcase, 1 diaper bag, and 1gigantic purse that was overflowing.
We sold the Mama Chair, Bean’s bookshelves, some other baby stuff, and a whole mess of baskets that I had sewed inserts for. We gave away tons of clothes and random stuff that was either too heavy or didn’t rank on the importance scale. When we left the next morning in our ugly European boxy SUV thing, there was exactly enough room for the hub, me (with bags at my feet and on my lap) and Bean. The rest of the car was packed to the ceiling.
There’s more…. we might have thought at this point that the story was over and things were calming down, but that was a ridiculous thought. But, since this post is already way too long, the next portion of the story will have to wait until tomorrow, the next day, or whenever I get around to it. I promise to tell you about a crazy taxi ride, a cat barber, and Bean’s 18 month-old friend who slipped her a baby bottle full of coke. Oh yes, the story continues….