The next day it was already time for Manja and Doris to head back to Germany. On Manjas last day we had a nice lunch with my grandparents, before all heading over to pick up Doris from my parents place.
Manja and Doris had a few kilos of “spare” luggage, so we packed some stuff which would be nice to have in Germany already.
I have to admit the farewell wasn’t as bad as it could have been – after all, Manja and I would see each other again a few weeks later in Berlin!
Plus, they had a nice flight back – Business class! I’m just a touch jealous 😉
As soon as Manja left I had my work cut out for me: Pack up my life, sell off everything I didn’t need. Say final goodbyes to everyone. Oh, and sell the house.
All in 2 weeks.
It turns out that Facebook Marketplace became my best friend during this time as I sold off the vast majority of things I had collected over the past few years. Monday and Tuesday the whole house was broken into sections to sort into “Pack and Take” or “do a photo shoot and sell”. I arranged boxes and packing materials for the breakables and vacuum bags for the fluffy things to save some space.
Then it began, with the easy things. In the middle of summer, I didn’t need winter gear, so that was packed away along with all the clothes which I would not need in the next 2 weeks.
The days pretty much continued in this way: Pull every single item out of every cupboard and wardrobe, decide to keep or sell, and then pack or post it on Facebook marketplace or Gumtree. My home became a constant coming and going of people buying stuff. I was surprised how quickly I managed to get rid of things – including the couch and bed. Half the people also made offers on other things, which was great. Things were moving. All but one room was becoming empty, and that room was full of boxes ready to be moved overseas. The nights were spent with those nearest and dearest, my goal was to see a different person each night.
Monday night I headed back to the parents place to help them eat through the leftovers and discuss what they could still help me with in the process. Most of the work I would have to do myself, but they can help me move whatever remains next week. They also offered to deal with my car and motorbike sale, as well as being the point-people for any belongings which weren’t sold by the time I left. That took a massive amount of weight off my shoulders because I didn’t have to think too much about what to do with things which could end up being leftover.
Tuesday night I just spent the whole time packing.
Wednesday morning was more packing, but in the afternoon I headed to my old job to say hello to some colleagues. On the way I dropped off a few boxes of old books to Oxfam books, and in the evening I had dinner in town with Shane at one of our usual lunchtime places. After dinner we found this awesome little desert place called “Hey Jupiter” where they make the yummies! Highly recommend. We chatted about the last 15 or so years working together, about the challenges of now and how far we had come, and what our plans would be for the future. I also had a nice espresso, which gave me the energy to keep packing well into the night after I returned!
Thursday night Gabe and I caught up at the Grifsfor dinner and chats, about the “old old old times” when we were kids, about the “old old times” when we were teenagers and about the “old times” when we worked together. And about life, opportunities and having to say “fuck it” sometimes. A great night of memories and philosophy!
Friday afternoon I got to go to my nephew’s graduation because I wasn’t working for a change 😁. The ceremony was really nice – the older kids led it with support from the younger kids and occasionally the teachers. No photos from the event, but Silas was definitely a happy camper! Caspian watched from my shoulders and cheered real loud for Silas! With the ceremony done, we had afternoon tea with the family, who dropped by my place for a bit on their way home. I showed them around what I had already done and what was left to do. They assisted by taking along a few things to my parent’s place and buying a few bits and pieces which they could use themselves 🙂
Saturday afternoon the gaming gang got together to play games at Glens. This was something we used to do all the time – like at least every second week. Tonight I learned to play “Root” which was heaps of fun, and we chatted about the future and the good old times. I will totally miss these nights and this crazy bunch of people!
Sunday morning I was a bit bleary eyed from lack of sleep, but went down to our traditional weekly family breakfast at the grandparents place. As a little Christmas surprise I brought along some German “Stollen” for them 🙂
In the afternoon I headed over to Niko and Anna’s place and chatted about life while watching the kids cycle and skate down the incline of the driveway. We talked about my plans in Germany and their jobs and their plans…. And to have Caspian have a go at riding my bike 😀
Monday and Tuesday were made up of a constant stream of people coming and buying my things as I packed up more boxes. I was really starting to feel the pressure of having to get everything finished this week, so I worked well into the night.
Wednesday afternoon I jumped on my motorbike for a last day riding around. I caught up with Stef for lunch, where we chatted about life and moving countries – I’m doing the reverse of what she did a few years earlier, though I have the bonus of having a partner waiting for me.
In the evening I was invited for dinner by Amy and Drew for dinner. We started at Godilavita, an Italian place on Unley road, where they cook pasta in a cheese wheel. I parked my bike around the corner and headed in, where Amy was already waiting. When Drew turned up a few minutes later he was kind enough to bring along my motorbike key, which I had LEFT IN THE IGNITION. Drew was a lifesaver – I’m sure the bike would NOT have been there by the end of the night, and the last thing I needed at the moment was to deal with insurance!
The food was absolutely amazing, both in watching the preparation and in eating it! I’ve known Amy for a great many years, and we went through many, many, ups and downs together. I’ll miss her particularly much, so it was great to have the time to chat properly, and it’s so nice to see her happy with a great bloke. I truly believe we both found our happy place after a good many years of searching! After dinner we went a few houses down the road to this great desert place where I had waaaaaaaay too much sugar… I SHOULD not have finished my brownie-in-a-pan, but I could NOT STOP. Eventually we parted ways – Amy and Drew would not be able to join my farewell gathering on the weekend because they had family commitments – in Melbourne – which I think is a fair enough excuse 😉
The evening air was perfect for my ride home too.
Thursday was “move day”. All of the things I wanted to keep had to be moved to Ryan’s place, who had kindly offered to store it for me as long as it took. Everything that still needed to be sold had to go to my parent’s place. We would have to do it in two stages – the first was to move everything to my parent’s place, then re-pack and drive the gear to Ryan’s place.
I got up early to pick up the truck, and then pick up my parents were kind enough to play removalists for the day. We drove all the way back to my place and spent the whole morning packing the truck while someone arrived to pick up my bed and bedroom wardrobes.
On the first trip back to my parents place we dropped off the gym around the corner where someone had bought it and would pay me to transport it too. Less than a kilometre and I had the truck anyway, so why not! We didn’t expect it to be pouring when we moved the weights into her house, but somehow that made it a bit of fun…. Exercise in the rain 😉
Because I have a motorbike, a car and now also the truck, we had to make sure we had a plan to get all the vehicles down to my parent’s place. Mum drove the car down; Dad the Bike and I took the truck. About 30 seconds before reaching our destination, the car’s rear window exploded… We have a variety of theories on how this could have happened, but it was a real “what? really? now?!?” moment. But we had no time to deal with it properly now, so we just parked it in the garage and covered the window with some plastic.
We headed back to my place, packed the second load and moved it down to their place. We arrived back at their place around 6pm, the day was getting on.
Next step: removing the stuff from the truck and re-packing the stuff that would go to Ryan’s. By 19:30 we eventually made it to Ryan’s to unload again: Almost 50 boxes and a whole bunch of Gym gear which he would inherit 🙂
After that we were hungry, so we stopped for dinner at the local Indian place, where the parents played Pokemon. From there it was back all the way to my place – almost an hours drive in the truck – to pack up the last few things. When we arrived back at my parents place, we left everything in the truck to unpack in the morning.
Ready to go!
Ready to go!
Stuff stored at Ryans place
More stuff at Ryans
My chillies drying at my parents place
Friday was Opa’s Birthday, and Oma Inge was hosting a family breakfast for him. After dropping off the truck early in the morning, I headed over to her place where we had a great breakfast and chatted the morning away. Oma and Opa were nice enough to lend me their car for the day so that I could head back, clean up and get the last bits of my things. I drove back to my place and cleaned most of the day, cramming those last few “bits and pieces” into the car…. But it didn’t quite fit!
By this time I had to head to town to meet up with the family for Opas Birthday dinner at Mings Palace, after which I would have to do one more final trip to get the last things. Luckily Niko was kind enough to offer to dump all the remaining rubbish in the bins over the coming weeks, as there was no chance I could make it all fit!
The birthday dinner was really nice, and we chatted the night away. When the festivities ended, I dropped gear at my parent’s place before taking the final trip to my old house. I had a strangely emotional experience as I left – it really had become home for me. I got back to my parents place around 1 am and dropped into bed.
Fast forward: Dinner
The other half of the table
The final half of the table