I have been in the UK now for about 4 days now , traveling from Chiang Mai had me take three plane rides before arriving at Birmingham Airport early Tuesday morning.
It’s amazing how when you arrive back at a place, time seems to have stood still. The three months I had been home, thousands of miles away in Thailand, have gone into the past quickly and now I am back in Birmingham , it seems like I have never left. I found myself trying to summon up the memories of my house and the garden, to try and transport myself there , feel the heat, hear the quietness and the smell of the garden, sometimes succeeding, but most times it feels like trying to grab smoke, , seeing your hand go toward a small puff of smoke, and to see your hand pass through the bodiless cloud, without even a the feel of the slightest touch, then to see it disappear in your effort.
Once we had planned to move to Thailand, we started packing box’s, so this must have been a year or so ago. Questions like, do we need this ? Is that necessary ? Can we get it cheaper in Thailand? Or Is it better quality over here in the UK? These questions continued for months. The box’s continued to grow, so much so I had to hire a storage unit to put our boxes in as we were running out of space in the flat.
Big box’s, small box’s, heavy-duty box’s and even medium box’s, stacked here and there, some nice and neat, some crumpled at the corners from uneven packing or heavier ones on top of them. Remembering the box’s you had first packed, all nicely marked, neatly packed , then smiling at the many boxes near the impending move marked “Misc” as in frustration and panic you put anything, from everywhere into the box’s that are left.
As you walk around a home I would sometimes think I was living in a real Tetris game, all shapes and sizes of box’s, figuring out where to put another packed box, so it would not crush or topple over, or should it even fit ? Then trying to avoid the hard sharp corners near the doors, walking past the now invisible box’s to get to a door, only to catch the corner on your arm or chest, the sharp pain reminding you of the looming move ahead, reminding you that all the effort you have exerted in placing these box’s in their places, the same exertion will be expelled as you, yet again move the very same box;s, from one location to another, this time into a van. Knowing, with a mixture or relief, that the move is complete, and worry, that you will have to open, exam in and relocate every box and contents of said box’s to another place. In my mind I am thinking? Do I rally need this item?, and is there enough space for all this stuff in our new home? Or , in our case, Do I really need all these, heavy coats and jumpers, expensive as they are, and as attached to them as we are, in a very to country?? Mmmmmmmm, bugger it, I can’t throw them away, so packed they were, a heavy down coat, for Thailand .
So after all those months of packing, I arrive in Thailand, the home nice a tidy and free of clutter. Two days before I am sure to return to the UK, there they are, my boxes again, the container arrived and we are now surrounded by all those familiar Tetris shapes. ( Minus two by the way)
So yet again I am surrounded by these square-shaped objects, and yet again I am doing the familiar questioning about, what box should be stacked on top of the other, and yet again my arm get caught , and a sharp pain goes through my arm as a result of an escaping box lid, lying in wait for the unsuspecting arm , leg or any object to catch and hurt. These boxes were put in the small bedroom and will be there for my return in a few months, oh the joy.
So after the long journey from my home to the UK, and during my time here, I will be staying with a good friend, who, unfortunately for me is also moving, and due to the timing of my return, I am yet again surrounded by these cubed fiends. So I am helping my friend settle in and move from one house to another.
I was talking to Chris when we were moving, surrounded by all these boxes. We both felt that as more of boxes we filled and the more of the contents and character of the home was gradually whittling away, the less of a home we felt it was.
So all this unsettling and lack of stability has been hard for me. It is hard enough to move to another country and to another culture with a hard language to learn and speak. Then after 3 months and the feeling of this house was now y home, I have then moved back to the Uk for a few months to work, adding to this feeling of lac of security and a lack of roots , so to speak.
Don’t get me wrong I made this decision to do this, for several reasons, but that does not take away the feeling I feel now. That, added with the fact I am sitting around waiting for the documents to clear before I can start work and I sit here and feel lost and have nothing to do. This also makes me realise how much I watch TV and rely on the Internet. The new house I am staying in, has no TV, as yet, for a week or so, and the Wi Fi will be sorted around the same time.
I know, once the move has been made, and I start at work , all these feeling will subside. When I was in the Army, I use to move from unit to unit country to country , and took that in my stride, well I suppose I have to realise , I am not as young as I use to be and perhaps, well perhaps , more stuck in my ways.