On the first day of our move to Kessel-Lo we woke up determined to make things go as smoothly as possible, despite the promise of a heatwave with temperatures up to 35°C (95°F). So naturally we got stuck at step one: the van rental.
The young, newly employed girl at the rental office stared incredulously at our fidelity card, unable to comprehend how I had been added as a second driver when I do not have a driver’s license. We explained that it was simply so that I could pay with my credit card since my boyfriend, the one with the license, does not have one. This is how we had done it on all previous occasions. But this is against the rules. She looked at us, aghast. After a number of calls and consultations with colleagues she offered us a solution. On the condition that we paid for an additional 100 Euro insurance we could pay for the rental in cash.Well, we did not have a lot of choice at this point. Naturally we spent another hour walking in the scorching heat looking for a cash point, after not so helpful directions by newbie girl, a supermarket employee, a postman and a local resident.
After the van rental debacle we were in need of good luck and that is exactly what we got. Not having reserved a space for our van in the street we kept our fingers crossed that there would be a spot near the front door. To our dismay we found that the street in front of our building had been reserved for a lift. But since the lift took up only a small part of the area we agreed with the guys operating the lift that we could stand at whatever spot they were not using, giving us the use of a reserved space we had not ordered. It turned out that the lift had been rented to search for a cat that had escaped onto the roof of our 7 story building. For the next few hours we loaded the truck with boxes of kitchenware, boxes of clothes, boxes of books, bookshelves, a sofa, chairs and an unimaginable amount of what seemed like random junk. Meanwhile our new friends up in the lift cage tried to catch a slippery cat. As the van filled up we were extremely happy to find that our apartment seemed emptier than expected. We estimated we would only have to drive the van over to the new house once more, rather than twice as we had originally thought. And as we were leaving we received the good news that the cat had been retrieved.
After unloading in Kessel-Lo we had an hour before the scheduled appointment at the local bank for the rental guarantee account, so we spent the time exploring the garden and discovered that we have a cherry tree! As someone who has lived in capital cities all her life this is very exotic and exiting.
By the time we were done at the bank we were completely knackered and headed back to our old flat to do absolutely nothing for the evening.
The second day of our move I woke up at 5.30 and was unable to fall back asleep. Not ideal, but on the upside it meant that we began loading the van at 6.00. By 11.00 we had emptied and cleaned the apartment and by 13.00 my boyfriend was returning the van while I began unpacking the kitchen. Very smooth indeed! I was not feeling my best after only 6 hours of sleep and with temperatures soaring, but having successfully moved more than made up for any discomfort I was feeling. And at the end of the garden we discovered some neighbours:
I am definitely not a city girl any longer!