One of the biggest decisions of an international move is how much of your stuff you are going to take, and how you are going to move it. As my company was paying for the move, we decided to get rid of some of our older furniture but move most of the major stuff, including applicances (we would only need an adapter plug to use them coming from Europe).
The whole process of selecting a moving a company started months before the actual move, and I will save those details for a later post. In the end, we decided to go with Grospiron, who would pack and move all our belongings in what they call a door-to-door move from Nice to “wherever we end up living” in the Johannesburg area. In order to prepare for the move, many weekends were spent sorting through all our crap deciding what to take, what to give away and what to trash. This was a huge, time consuming process and I was thrilled to turn the project over to Grospiron when they arrived bright and early Monday morning (Oct 28 2013).
Our living room just before the movers arrived. We had given away some of the furniture so we had started boxing stuff up but the movers finished it all off.
The crew of 4 arrived in 2 moving vans (our stuff was going into storage first not directly into the container, more about that some other time) and after a quick walk-through of the apartment to see what goes or not (we had set aside one bedroom as the “safe” room with all the stuff we would take on the plane or still need before departure) the boss assigned each crew member to a room and the packing commenced.
Crew arrives with 2 moving vans
Once a box was filled, a label was stuck to the box and moved out to the hallway and eventually out to the vans. The crew was very professional and we were quite impressed with the service that we received. The guys worked pretty much non-stop for about 6 hours and by a little after 2 pm all our stuff (well almost, see below) was in the vans on the way to storage for a month before being loaded in the container and being shipped to South Africa for arrival at the end of December (or so we are told).
Labeled boxes ready to go into the van
One van filled, the other on its way
Our last big job before catching the plane on Wednesday night was to clean the apartment. I had slated all day Tuesday for this task, however after one last lunch on the Promenade des Anglais, we decided to get a head-start on the festivities and scrubbed until after 8:30 pm. We moved to a nearby hotel for our last 2 nights in Nice and as we were utterly exhausted we ordered in some sushi and quickly collapsed into bed.
After a hearty breakfast and a few last-minute errands, we were back at the apartment to finish our cleaning. It was then that I discovered the one hiccup of the move, a drawer full of knives and other cooking utensils that had been missed by the movers (and us as well during the final walk-through). I tossed the cheap and heavy stuff and the rest I squeezed into our baggage (the knives have turned out to be quite useful in our new apartment).
One forgotten drawer
Last Picnic in Nice
For our last evening in Nice we attempted to have dinner at the just opened Hard Rock Cafe, however even though there were many open tables they quoted us a wait of at least 45 minutes so we decided to head to our our old standby, La Voglia . As we entered, I immediately smelled lovely fragrant TRUFFLES and I knew exactly what my last dinner in France would consist of.
Pasta with truffles at La Voglia
Wednesday October 30th, our final day in Nice. After checking out of the hotel, we had some final errands to run, including a stop at the consignment lot where our car is still for sale.
Saying Au Revoir à Titine
The apartment was finally clean and empty (except for the luggage we would take on the flight with us) and ready for inspection. The walk-through took about an hour and we are still waiting to see what they will try and charge us for.
Empty and ready for inspection
All the stuff we managed to slog onto the plane; 4 checked pieces and 4 carry-ons
After turning in the keys, Yannick had one final trip to the garbage dump and post office while I waited
impatiently in the hall with the rest of our stuff before heading to the airport. At the airport, I ran into a former colleague whom I hadn’t seen in some time and when he asked where I was going, and I replied that we were moving to South Africa TONIGHT, all the stress and exhaustion of the past few months was forgotten and I realized our new life had now begun.
Airbus A380-800 AF Paris to JoBurg