Decades ago, as I moved around Manhattan from cheap apartment to cheap apartment, most of my stuff fit into “New York luggage:” big black Hefty garbage bags. Now that I’ve acquired children, however, and all their junk precious possessions, the New York luggage has been retired. Now I have to hire professionals, like the team of four guys who hauled our furniture and approximately eighty gazillion boxes into long-term storage when we moved from New York to Abu Dhabi two years ago. It took us more than three days to finish that move—I’m sure those movers still have a dart board with our apartment number at its center.
That move almost killed me—and I’m not even including the hours we spent packing and re-packing the twelve suitcases we were lugging to Abu Dhabi, in a desperate attempt to make sure that no one suitcase went over the weight limit for checked bags.
So after that move, moving from one neighborhood in Abu Dhabi to another was a piece of cake: on moving day, a squad of ten men showed up armed with huge rolls of bubble wrap and cardboard; they fanned out across our apartment and hey presto! the contents of our apartment vanished in a few days.
When we moved from New York, I don’t remember thinking much about the difference between my life and the lives of the men putting our boxes in the truck. At the risk of generalizing, I assumed that I had more education than they did, and that my children probably went to “better” public schools than theirs did (if even they had kids). I mean, I know I’m generalizing here—and maybe the movers were PhD candidates in philosophy out to make an extra buck, but that seems like a stretch. (more…)