Well, let's first examine how it was supposed to go, then we can reassess how it went.
Ideally, had things all gone to plan, it was supposed to go as follows:
- We meet the check-in clerks from both my relocation company and the landlord's company at the apartment. We go over the apartment condition and make a thorough inventory list of all of the damage (so I wouldn't get charged for anything after I've left). They give me the keys and the apartment is mine.
- The movers come and deliver all of my Finnish business. I'm ecstatic that everything arrives and it feels like Christmas because I don't have to feel like I want to burn all of my clothes because I've been wearing the same ones for the last 4 weeks.
- Ikea calls and delivers all my new furniture and we spend the rest of the day putting together all of my new stuff and putting away all of my possessions into the new furniture.
- I have a delightful night's sleep in my own bed with all of my stuff nearly put away and I go to work the next day.
The general conclusion of the move-in day: no.
Nope, no sir, I don't think so.
It didn't go disastrously, really, but it certainly didn't go as planned.
First hiccup? Ikea calls at 8:30am to tell me that they can deliver within the hour. I have my check-in appointment at 10am. I ask them if they can stall until then. They say no. I tell them I can't be there until 10am. They ask if they can backlog me and push me to tomorrow. I ask if I will get charged for a redelivery if they do that. They say "oh, eh...probably not." So we pretend that they failed to deliver and my delivery gets pushed to the next day. Admittedly, this is the best time ever to have someone home for you, like your parents. Not the ideal situation, but crisis averted.
We arrived early at the apartment building with about 2/3 of the stuff from the temporary apartment. We had the temp apartment until the next day, but anxious to get into my real apartment and spend the night somewhere else, we brought most things with us.
The agent from my end shows up on time and he seems pleasant enough. We wait about 10 minutes for the landlord clerk before deciding that he's horribly late. We call him. Where the hell is this guy. A half an hour passes and lots of phone calls are made. No one knows what the hell is going on. I'm praying my delivery guys don't show up with everything and we're not able to get into the apartment (the landlord's clerk is bringing the keys, not my guy).
It's cold and we wait outside. With our 7 bags of stuff. Awkwardly.
Eventually the landlord clerk's replacement comes and does the check-in for him. The keys are oddly sticky (like they don't work well in the locks). She's thorough in the inspection but oddly impersonal. Whatever.
The check-out finishes but we have tons of questions still that will likely not get answered. Welcome to London.
We eat lunch standing up in the kitchen because the delivery guys still haven't arrived (not a big deal, they called earlier in the morning to say they'd likely be there in early afternoon, they were taking the ferry over from France...yeah, my stuff was being driven around Sweden previously and I guess it ended up in France at some point in time).
As we're heading downstairs to walk a few blocks to a shoe repair place to get some spare keys made, my phone rings and the delivery guys are there. Literally as I step outside my front door they're already there, truck blocking half my small street. Well, alright then.
True to form they're two Swedish guys, just like my removal guys were. Unfortunately they're not the two same Swedish guys (would have been nice to see familiar faces), but one of them is really nice and both of them speak English well. The unpacking and reassembling of my furniture doesn't take too much time and I fully realize for the first time how much room I have in this apartment versus Oksa. Kind of crazy.
After they leave we start the process of putting things away for real as everything at the moment is scattered on counters and surfaces (we just wanted them to unpack everything and take away the packing materials). Since my furniture wasn't delivered from Ikea there's nowhere to put my clothes, since Britain doesn't build in their storage units so some things are oddly sacrificed to the gods of plastic bags and weird temporary homes. Oh well, just temporary.
I realized on this move how much stuff I want to get rid of. What I didn't really use when I was in Finland and what I really need to get by. A lot is going to be sold off and donated in the next few weeks. Another thing I completely noticed: I need to stop buying used books (or books of any kind, haha). I have quite a collection and um...I need to clear some space before getting any more.
And there you have it. The hen has landed.
Visitors soon to be welcome. :)