Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Packing, day seven, plus general moving planning

Richard took the day off yesterday. Monday was actually a public holiday here for Kataklysmos, a kind of hybrid celebration of Greek Orthodox Pentecost (which was on Sunday) and Noah's flood. The sea-front is packed with booths selling junk and people buying it. The weather, thankfully, is a not-too-hot 28-29C (lower 80s in Fahrenheit), much better than the extreme heat of a week ago.

However he couldn't take the day off on Monday, as he had some meetings planned including one with someone about to fly out from the airport. So he took Tuesday instead.

We made a list of things that need to be done related to our move, and items we need to buy for the new house. One vital thing is a freezer. There's no way we can run down the contents of our small freezer before moving, or fit it all in the top of the fridge-freezer. Since our house has a guest flat with its own kitchen, and we always seem to be short of freezer-space, we decided we'd get a large upright (eight-drawer) freezer for the new house and relegate the small (four-drawer) freezer to the guest flat.

So, if we order the new freezer to arrive in the new house after we've bought it but before the main move, we can switch it on to run for 24 hours, then pack all the stuff from our current freezers into cool-boxes with ice packs and drive it all to the new freezer to keep. An advantage of moving only a kilometre away!

So we went to check prices and availability of freezers yesterday afternoon, as well as flat-screen televisions (Richard wants one that's labelled 32 inches, which is apparently 16 inches high and 28 inches wide .. I've no idea why they don't come metric!) and dishwashers, since the main kitchen will have space for one. First we went to Kleima, a huge (by Cyprus standards) showroom with all kinds of random stuff including large and small appliances. We wrote down prices, not really helped by staff who didn't really know what they were talking about.

Then we tried to go to Dalco, a smaller showroom that's mainly electrical appliances. Unfortunately it was closed. We had forgotten that most shops close during the early afternoon in the summer for siesta time. However as Dalco have a good web-site, that didn't matter too much.

Finally we went to a small shop where we've previously bought 'white goods'. Friendly, helpful, and - to my surprise - prices much better than those of Kleima. Only problem being they didn't have any 8-drawer freezers since the demand is apparently very low. However when we got home we discovered that Dalco do have these freezers, and their prices are also much better than those of Kleima. Odd. I would have expected Kleima to be the cheapest.

Richard phoned our solicitor to check if we need to do anything else prior to completion. We don't, so that's good. He tried to phone the estate agent, but she wasn't there. We checked the exchange rate, which we're hoping will get slightly better before we transfer a vast amount of money from the UK to Cyprus. It was up by a small amount. Some day soon we will have to make a decision to go ahead with the exchange... the company we're using, Foreign Currency Direct, were recommended to us by two different people we know and our previous exchange was done efficiently and quickly. They don't charge any commission on large amounts, but they do give slightly less than the day's exchange rate according to Oanda. At present we're holding out for their rate to be better than 0.84, at which point they will do the transfer. But if it doesn't get that good at some point we will have to decide to exchange anyway, and hope it's not the worst rate for a while!

We can't imagine how anybody can 'play' with currencies and the stock exchange, it's so stressful trying to decide what to do and how to get the best rate.

And the packing... again we (mainly Richard) did a couple of hours in the evening. Actually rather more than that, we think. He packed up 'bits and pieces' from the dining room and living room, and two boxes with most of the books from my study. He also packed away the last bits of the hi-fi system, and our airbeds and other camping gear, and various small bags. Then we sorted out the boys' old chemistry set, which is still in very good condition with a fair amount of chemicals remaining, and offered it to a family we know with younger children.

It doesn't sound like much but it took that amount of time. Our friends took the eight boxes of paper we had collected for recycling, so that was good. We wandered around the house wondering why we have so much clutter, and yet it seems to be packing down into a relatively small space. Considering. Richard thinks that everything ought to fit into Dan's room. Not the furniture, of course, but everything we're boxing.


itsboopchile said...

Your packing and planning for moving is so much like mine, except we are moving from a lot of space into a place of smaller space.
And we don't have the house yet so I am in a dither about what to keep and what to put in our daughter's thrift sale.
And the clutter!! the papers!! the books!!. It is truly a hard job.
I don't make much headway because there is more to living that packing for a move without a date.
So, I am reading how you are handling it.
So far you are doing it with sense.
And I need some of that!!!
See you, Betty G

san diego moving and storage said...

I have realized that you don't know how much stuff you really have until you start packing! Just keep everything organized and packing shouldn't be too bad.

Anonymous said...

We Have had an apartment built in Kiti, Larnaca. Due to not being able to get a flight to arrive during office hours, we will require a bed and breakfast or hotel for a short time; probably 1 or 2 nights. Could you advise us of a suitable place, many thanks, David.

Sue said...

Sorry, David; I don't actually know of any b&b places, although they must exist. There are many hotels in Larnaka, however; you would probably do best to book through your travel agent for such a short stay, or use one of the online searches for hotels in Larnaca. There are some fairly close to Kiti but I don't know what they're like.