40/20 Hindsight


When we came to Brazil five and half years ago, our possessions were shipped in two containers, a forty and a twenty footer. When they came to estimate our household goods in February they told me we would be leaving in two forty footers. Horrified, this is when all the purging, pitching, and heaving began in earnest. KT left in 2 x 40 footers but she has much nicer furnishings. Mrs. O’L says she is leaving in a 40 and a 20 but I think she is fibbing – she has all those honking French armoires and an art collection to rival the Louvre. I might even have to demand to see the bill of lading.

I have spent the greater part of the last three weeks, off and on, with a 3 man packing crew, cleaning closets and drawers one step ahead of the packers. Before they left they told me about the French wife of the owner of C&A, a clothing chain store in France, Brasil, China, and probably other countries I don’t know about. When Mrs. C&A left Sao Paulo after 6 years, she had 6 forty foot containers. These packers were in her one floor apartment for two months. They told me some other pretty interesting things about her as well, which I won’t mention in case I am sued or something.

On Thursday I said farewell to our worldly possessions having achieved my goal: the twenty footer is on its way to Florida and in a few short weeks, the forty will be headed to China. It might even get there and be processed even before I do, a Herculean feat, but I remain skeptical. Order and progress, indeed. The thought of unpacking it all though, sends my blood pressure soaring. It’s a good thing my mother has given me permission to sit on my bum bum for a few days in the US before our monster Fourth of July party/Anna Song Song’s coming out party.*

Today after Angel’s 8th grade party we said good-bye to the house on Alameda das Laranjeiras. Although I cannot say enough nasty things about the owners, I will miss their house, which we left spotless. I even left them a roll or two of toilet paper, which they do not deserve, in the name of Christianity. I may come back to Brazil but I will never sleep in that bedroom again, with the windows open, the parrots rioting across the sky, the palm trees swishing like taffeta skirts, and the heavy scent of gardenias wafting in in October. Am wiping the tears off my face to go to dinner at Maria and Fernando’s. Maria’s serving dinner on her toucan plates we bought together in Itaipava. The caipiroskas will help ease my grief and the pain in Mr. U’s screwed up shoulder. Enough already.




Filed under Fine Dining, Life, Moving, People

6 responses to “40/20 Hindsight

  1. Laura

    A good-bye that makes all of us expat princesses proud, MK, although I believe that EXP rules REQUIRE you to share all the dirt on the C&A femme. But no matter. Hoist one last capiroshka (I still can´t figure out why you prefer those cross-cultural cross-overs to the real thing) and after parking your bum bum for the 4th, onward and upward to a new empire.

  2. MCV

    Oh, I’m sad for you too! 😦 I LOVED that house and that land (and the cute guardsman!) and the WONDERFUL time I had there after such a horrible time in my life. You were, and are, the world’s greatest hostess. But, here’s to China! I hear there is a trade show in Hong Kong in October that someone might be thinking I should attend . . . I could be visiting you before you know it!

  3. MCS

    I’s so sad for you too – that house was truly a home. AS MCV noted, you were an amazing hostess when we visited and I have nothing but happy memories of my visit to Brazil.

    I give you serious props for downsizing your shipment. Would have bet money against that.

    Can’t wait to see you on the 4th!

  4. NoName, Like your sisters, I am grieving for you. I think what I liked best was the veranda, looking out on the pool, the guest house and the court and yard.

    I bet your friends will miss you . But I am looking forward to seeing you all.

  5. Winnie

    You have palm trees here swishing away in your yard (or at least close to it), I can get you a gardenia for your lanai and you can leave the French doors open to it at night, AND I have a stuffed parrot (not real, I’m relieved to say), that you can hang on a string out there. Will that take some of the sting out????

  6. Winnie,
    Thanks for reminding me of the good things to come! There’s a hanging bird or two winging its way to you for you to unpack …

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