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  • 9th May, 2004 at 11:01 AM

My moving nightmare started Saturday. Adeel had said those magic words the night before "It seems everything is going smoothly for you guys. What could happen in two days?"

This is, of course, before Julie decided to drink bleach. This is a horrible story, involving catastrophic failure, and the flooding of three floors of her house. I'll let her tell it. Needless to say, we did very little packing on Saturday, and lots of mopping.

On Sunday, I woke up bright and early to a rainy day. I ate some eggs and bacon, and walked down to my preferred U-Haul pickup location for 9:00. This is where I noticed that there was no truck in the parking lot. I went inside, talked to the manager who called some people. This is what I heard: "Guelph?" "You've got to be kidding me." "My client is a student, he can't walk that far."

After a while, I was informed that I could go somewhere else to pick up my truck. Fine, I walked there, in the rain. I headed off for an invigorating and cold 45-minute stroll. There, I picked up the van and signed some papers before driving back. Little did I know that those papers charged me far too much, considering my original quoted price. At this point in time, I was just thinking of going back so that I could load stuff before it got too late.

I swung by Adeel's place to pick him up, since he would help us load the van. Boxes went into the cargo area, where we noticed that the roof leaked. Great. I wadded up some clothes to soak up the water and hoped for the best. Hours later, we bundle into the van and drive for Montréal. By now, it is 14:00 and I thought there was a 10-hour drive ahead of me.

We got onto the highway, and after a bit of driving, Julie noticed that the right-side mirror was moving. In fact, it had migrated its way so that I could see Julie, but not any of the cars beside me. Now in a big cube van, this is a problem since there are no rear windows. So I had Julie watch out the right as I merged into the right lane. Thankfully, we had no accidents and I was able to pull over. After trying to tighten the bolts myself, we drove to the nearest service station, but the mirror had decided that it needed a real wrench. I pulled in, and jerry-rigged something involving twine to hold it in place. Meanwhile, Julie found this nice trucker at Tim Hortons' who got out his adjustable wrench and helped us.

This was pretty good, since it was getting dark, and we still had a long way to drive. A long stretch of the trip was pretty uneventful, with us getting out of the car to rest, and to let Timin use his litterbox. However, just as it was starting to get really dark, the rain began to come down strongly. We knew that the fuel gauge was stuck at 7/8 and Julie reminded me to get petrol. Up ahead was a service station, in about 5km, so I thought I'd pull into there. No luck with that, since we ran out of gas about a minute later. We pulled over to the side, and I put out reflectors behind our van. Then I stood outside trying to flag down somebody. Just as I gave up and got back into the van, a small black coupe pulled up in front of us. A nice man named Chris and his sister Helen were heading to Kingston and then Cornwall. I hitched a ride with them, bought $3 worth of petrol in the gastank they lent us, and then went back to the van. They were really nice, and dropped me off right there too. Thanks guys.

Eventually, at 5:00 on Monday, we pull up in front of the house. I parked the van in the driveway which we share with three other people, and Julie put signs everywhere telling the neighbours to ring the doorbell if we were blocking them. That's because the street is no parking from 2:00 to 6:00, and we were just too tired to stay awake any longer. At around 7:30, we got the doorbell, I moved the van into the street, and then I collapsed.

I spend the rest of Monday moving stuff out of the van and dragging it into the house, a box at a time. Since Julie's hands are injured, she really could only help with the light stuff. I dragged an entire 14-foot van's worth of stuff up 22 steps into our apartment. Then I notice an e-mail from Christine Prime saying that I should hurry to move furniture. Avery is furnishing this house with some furniture he bought for the last NITI house, which was stored in cprime's storage locker. Well, by that time, it was closed, so we made an appointment to move it Tuesday morning.

I drove over to her place, and Pat Patterson was waiting for me. I collapsed into their lovely futon, and slept until 8:00. We got ready, and then drove to the storage place, and loaded the furniture as quickly as possible. Then we drove back here, and unloaded it. Then I rushed to the U-Haul drop-off to deposit the van. During this time, Julie was spent mired on the phone complaining that:

  1. The van was broken, and they wasted our time
  2. Their preferred drop-off location was silly, since there was one five minutes from this place
  3. They overbilled us when we picked up the van at the new location

I'd better write them a complaint letter before I stop being angry at them. Anyway, the rest of the week has been filled with unpacking, and asssembling IKEA furniture. I now feel like my muscles hate me, and I have blisters everywhere.

Oh yes, I also discovered that Bell connected the telephone to the line with only one outlet, as opposed to the line connected to the rest of the outlets. I spent a nice chunk of yesterday splicing the other jacks into the working line.

Then I also discovered that there is no ground on most of the outlets in this house. It's a veritable death trap. The only grounded outlets are the ones in the kitchen. The other outlets have three-pronged sockets, but the ground prong is just floating. We went to talk to the landlady and she had no idea that this was the case. Poor lady, she would have been distraught if her grandson was injured due to leaking current. Anyway, she's going to send an electrician to examine the outlets this week.

Well, I've now got a computer that's unpacked, and the ability to SSH into work. So life can't be that bad.