Friday, August 13, 2010

Moving in India

I figured I should give readers a view of our recent move from Noida to Delhi... Since we used international movers when we first came here, this was our first move using local resources. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. After meeting with four companies, I chose a Noida-based company called "Sai Movers and Packers." To prepare for their arrival, Lesa and I boxed up anything we were afraid might be damaged or tempting. We put our winter clothes into our many suitcases. But we left most of the rest for the movers.
Five guys and the truck driver appeared on the scheduled day at the scheduled time (8am). Not bad. The moving crew came in and after a little review of what we expected (as interpreted by our driver, Chauhan) they went to work.
Most of our clothing was bundled into sheets - big bundles. All of the dishes and kitchenware were wrapped in bubble-plastic and packed into well-used cardboard boxes. Although placing heavy, marble housewares on top of kitchen glassware would not have been a packing strategy I would've used... nothing seemed to break as it went into each box. Furniture was covered with cardboard and taped for protection. And all of our "wall art" was first wrapped in Styrofoam (Thermocol) and then covered with bubble-plastic. This process took about five hours.
The crew then hauled everything down to the lobby, using the service elevator of our ATS tower. The contents of our entire apartment was there in the lobby on display.. until the truck finally arrived at about 2pm.
Then the real action started - Everything was loaded somewhat haphazardly into the back of their small, open freight truck. The loading was interupted occasionally by loud arguments about what to put where in the back of the truck. Everything was eventually stacked in the bed of that truck. The "Beverly Hillbillies" comes to mind.
After it was all roped down our driver gave the movers directions to the new flat and a little cash in case they needed to bribe the transport-tax collector at the U.P. - Delhi border.
All of our belongings made it across the river into Delhi and to our new apartment in Nizamuddin. The guys carted the whole lot up two flights of stairs and placed everything where we directed. The only slight damage we found after all of this was to the heaviest piece of furniture we own - our Indian-made, wooden sofa bed.
The move was over before 6pm. The price? High for India, but only $275 including tips.


merinda said...

Love this post. It's amazing how beautifully some things can work in India, despite the appearance. I'm so glad to hear that you have moved to Nizamuddin. If you haven't yet, be sure you visit the Dargah there. That was one of our favorite places to go and take visitors . . . like stepping back in time. We love hearing about your adventures and are a little jealous of your kids going to AES this fall. We'd love to have our kids there again!

HouseBoy said...

Thanks. AES is definitely a wonderful school... although a bit like living in an American bubble sometimes... We are glad to have had our Noida experiences first. Although it was sometimes really hard, I think it helped all of us sync with the culture and environment here a little more quickly.