The end of an era

We moved our things to our new house several weeks ago. What was left was the tiny storage room we had in the attic. Last Sunday, I cleared out this storage room. Most things were papers, old magazines and old cd-rom's. After separating the old, useless stuff from the things that still have some value to me, I was quite surprised about the amount of garbage I had collected over the past seven or eight years.

This morning early, I went back to the old house to throw out as much garbage as possible before the garbage men would arrive. Some boxes had to be re-taped (or else they would fall apart), and everything had to be carried three flights of stairs but I managed to get rid of about two-thirds of the garbage. When the garbage truck arrived in the street, I was happy with the work I was able to in the hour that I had.

Now I'm waiting for the power company to drop by to remove the geyser. Last Thursday, I had called them to tell them I no longer wanted to rent it. I assumed it would just be an administrative thing but no. It seems they lost many geysers in the past (the apparatus is full of copper and people would sell the copper to the scrap yard) and now it's policy to remove the geyser when the rent is stopped. Fine policy, of course, as it saves the company expenses and thus on the price I have to pay as their customer but it also means I was very late in the week with informing them and was in no position to negotiate a good appointment. I need this geyser removed today because the rest of the week I don't have time, can't take time off from work and the rent for the house ends October 31. So, now I'm waiting for the technician to drop by. All I have to do is wait, until 6 pm at the latest.

Being here in the old house makes me think about the years I have live here. I don't really have specific tales to share with you but a few thoughts have come up. First of all, the house looks a bit bigger now that it's empty. I know it didn't get any bigger but it definitely feels roomier. Secondly, it's cold in here! Every summer it seemed like I was living in a baking oven. The south facing windows let in the sun all day, heating up the house until no amount of wind could cool the place anymore. In autumn and winter, however, the place was decidedly drafty and cold. Today it's raining outside and I can feel the cold draft coming through the cracks of the sills, even straight through the window panes. Another observation is that it's also quite a noisy house. I can hear practically everything that happens in the street below. With the current construction work for the new metro line, that is quite some noise. I can still clearly remember the time when trams ran through the Ferdinand Bolstraat till after midnight and that they made quite some noise too. Not to mention the noisy, often drunk, people returning home after a night's out, the freaked out dogs left outside the downstairs supermarket and barking like crazy until their master would return, or the most disturbing noise of the trucks that come from 6 am to restock the supermarket.

Now it's time to stop reminiscing and to look to the future. I had very good times here, and some bad times too. I was very happy here but also lonely at times. Now it’s at an end. We're already getting quite used to the new house, finding places for our things, placing new furniture, and enjoying the extra space we now have. A part of me is still here in my old house and it finds it difficult to leave, but most of me has said goodbye and is already in the new house. I'll be here a few more times this week to finalise things. I still have a few days to say goodbye completely.

As it is, the technician came around ten past eleven, and had left again in five minutes. He did take the geyser. I'm off to home now.

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