Thursday, October 28, 2010


After living off a suitcase for a while it definitely feels nice to have clothes in the wardrobe! I was counting the time I have not had a permanent place to live and the result surprised me: 7 months! Or, more specifically, ever since I left Raleigh to spend some months in Rio. You could argue that I did have a place in Rio, but knowing that it was only for a few months did not make it feel much like home.

Now, let me explain the constraints of our move. First, we did not want to take furniture and other bigger stuff with us mostly because it was not good furniture, costs of moving are high, and we had no idea of what our respective living arrangements would be like in Europe. So that left us with the option of sending boxes by mail (at about US$200 per big box) or fitting it into the suitcases we were allowed to carry. By luck 2 friends going to London offered to take 2 suitcases with our stuff and I had a friend there that was very nice to accept to keep them indefinitely. I ended up shipping 3 boxes to the university in Norway and the rest was carried on our backs.

The luggage allowance on the plane depends on the type of ticket bought. For me it was 64kgs from the US to Brazil, and 20kg from Brazil-India-Oslo. For A. it was 20kgs USA-Brazil-India-Paris. (The lower allowance reflects the extra cheap tickets we got.) This means that I took an extra suitcase that I stored at my mom's place in Brazil. And from Rio on we were left with 40kgs in total! Not much... So all the saris from the wedding in India are still at my MIL, together with salwar kameez, sandals, and some crafts.

So what did I unpack?
- 3 boxes I sent by mail to Norway. They stayed in my office from March until this week, when a PhD student offered to help me move them to my apartment in Oslo. Mostly clothes and shoes that made no sense to carry around the world.
- 2 suitcases from London: I flew there one weekend, slept at my friend's and then lugged them by train (no luggage restrictions) to Paris, where A. met me at the train station and we hauled them to his apartment. This haul was huge, including a staircase up the hill where the university is, each with a 50lbs (~25kg) suitcase in tow. They contained most of our winter clothes, as well as some house decoration stuff (A. was less than happy to see what he had broken his back for were some "trinkets").
- 1 suitcase I brought from Brazil-India: mostly Summer clothes that are definitely too thin for the current Norwegian weather...

Ah, it was a lot of work... And it feels great to have it be over!!!
And maybe I've learned not to skimp on moving costs...


  1. You'll have a good time getting sorted out with your possessions and buying new ones for your new place.

    Having shipped, sent, carried stuff around the globe myself, I know it's a lot of work, but it is always exciting to start up again in a new country and learn to live in a different culture. As a Brazilian, you'll find life very different in Norway!

    Have fun!

  2. I envy you being unpacked, but not figuring out how to move stuff internationally! Moving cross-country recently was hard enough for me.

    When I moved to Germany for a year before college, I ended up shipping myself a box of books from the US so that I would have a good reading supply (this was before the internet and digital media really took off).

    I think the secret to surviving moving is to think of the nice workout you're getting lugging stuff everywhere.

  3. Hi Miss Footloose!
    Thanks for your comment!
    I agree with the excitement of starting up in a new place... that's what gives me motivation to pack and unpack. ;)

  4. Hi Gori,
    Definitely internet helps lessen the weight of books... but on the other hand I did ship all my econ books to my mom's place. Let's see when I will actually live in a place long enough to pick them up and bring them to where I am!

  5. I still haven't been able to part with my Mas-Colell text, so I hear you on the econ books.

  6. "The Bible" as we called it in micro class! Yup, it is definitely one of the stored books to be carried around for a while. But having studied it so much I'm actually glad I have not looked into it for some years already!!