Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I want to post about my trip to Rio for Carnival, and I will. I also want to wrap up my amazing trip with my girlfriends to Rio and Buenos Aires, and I will. But having just jumped back into blogging after a very busy hiatus I figured I would kick it off with flying furniture. Ill break it down.

Last week while I was traveling with my girlfriends I was also intermittently emailing Alex to check on things. We were supposed to finally have a few lights installed and some other little things and I was so excited. An empty apartment without lights was just starting to feel weird. So I was email nagging to see if the guy was coming to do the work and a little annoyed I wasn't getting any solid replies, usually just a quick word or two like "busy cant talk" or "stressed out!" However cryptic and strange the behavior, I was on vacation and I would deal with it later. 

Meanwhile back in Alex land. Thursday morning he gets a phone call, "Your furniture is going to be about 30 minutes late on the delivery this morning, is that going to be ok?" Ummmm WHAT???? As in our container is arriving TODAY????? Yea, a little miscommunication I suppose. We knew it was approved down at the port but it was indefinite as to when it would be delivered. So he drove as fast as possible to our apartment and of course there was a terrible accident on the marginal. He called back to say he would be late to meet the truck, and they said sorry we have other deliveries we have to move on. He was pleading to do all that he could to keep the truck at bay but to no avail, they were leaving. Finally and hour or so later he gets through and as he is driving up the steep hill to the house with a glimmer of hope they had waited... there in the distance is a truck with a giant container on top stuck under a tree. 

Not only that but there were about 5 cop cars swarming the situation as well as many other bystanders. He hadn't had a chance to explain to the building manager we were all of the sudden expecting a GINORMOUS delivery so that guy was just as pissed as the poor stuck truck driver over the situation. Finally they said no delivery, the truck is behind schedule and once removed from the tree claws it must move along. So he decided to wait and again beg as this situation clearly wasn't about to get unglued any time soon. An hour into this ordeal lawyers for the moving company showed up. Apparently the truck driver had illegally forged his license so he was in the process of being arrested. Yes, right there in the street next to his stuck truck. The lawyers realized it was silly not to start unloading while they figured out a way to trim the branches and several people showed up to begin the unload. Meanwhile I was writing an email to Alex that briefly mentioned I had forgotten to purchase my plane flight home from Buenos Aires (opps) and I needed his credit card number pronto. Timing is a beautiful thing. Thats a story for another day, and not nearly as exciting. 

So they unloaded into the evening and Alex was on the phone with the rental furniture people to have that picked up asap, and basically trying to find time to breath and realize after not having seen our things since August, we were finally going to have a proper apartment in time for April. At that point he decides not to tell me any of this and instead attempt to get the apartment in shape to surprise me whenever I was able to get home. 

The truck finally got unstuck, and the furniture people had to come back most of Friday to continue the process of unpacking and checking things off. The rental people came and picked up our small little life of a fridge, bed and table, the electricians came and Alex worked around the clock all hours of the night moving things, rearranging and settling in, mostly by himself. 

I cannot begin to describe my reaction when I walked in at 3am Sunday morning. In the elevator I was like why were you so busy? Busy with what? What in the world has been going on??? Why are you stressed? Is something going on I don't know about? Annoying I know. But the door opened and complete disbelief. I had gotten used to our bed with two twin mattresses poorly stuck together that allowed no normal sheets to fit, cooking without a stove, having no lights.... And all of the sudden we had pictures, and pots and pans, an iron, a real cozy bed... rugs, lamps and books! The sofa however was missing. It had been too big for the elevator and the stairs so it was being hoisted up the side of the building Monday morning at 830am. 

Alex had meetings so I stayed back from work to watch the spectacle. Apparently in Brazil this is extremely normal. 15 stories? Easy! My dad was like, "I bet they have a crane of some sort on top of the building for these things...." yeaaaaaa No! I was waiting for that part until they unloaded it out of their truck and brought it up to the apartment and set up it on the balcony and literally in 25 minutes the sofa was all the way up! Our balcony is off the bedroom and there is a narrow hallway to the living room. They tried every which way to get the couch through but it clearly wasn't going to happen. Most people would have probably given up, even hoisted it back down the building. Instead they preceded to take the couch apart and saw off the base. HOURS later and wood chips everywhere they pushed it through. Then they made new holes and screwed the base back together as best they could and there we go folks we had our apartment! Brazilians! Ahmazing. No way would they do all that in the US. I was acting like this was some crazy cool rarity but people tell me its quite normal, happens all the time. They take apart windows, balcony doors, saw, bend, cut, piece back together, whatever the issue they solve it and get it done. Regardless, unbelievable effort by those men and my man. I still can't believe it. The stove doesn't work yet, and the washing machine is 220v (opps) but our wonderful brazilian electrician says he's got it all figured out! And I'm sure he does in one way or another. 

Icamento: Google it. The portuguese word for hoistin' it up! (literal translation: Lifting)


Jim said...

Great story. Welcome back to normal life!

Leslie said...

jana, this is hilarious...they did the same thing with our couch in nyc!!! It wouldn't fit in our elevator so on the sidewalk outside our building they took off the upholstery, took a saw to the base, folded it half and got it into our apt! haha...then they put it back together...so ridiculous. i found out that day this is very common in nyc and this man had a business of fitting things into nyc apartments...oh the life of living in a city.

Gil and Ray said...


This is great news!
Nothing like getting back to our normal routine.
Hey, I am super curious to hear about your "Shower" Heads from the US, did they fit, are the pipes the same standant lenght?
I will probably/hopefully soon need the contact for your moving guys and the electrician too!
Glad to see you back posting! :)


Danielle said...

What a story! And I think you should take a moment to reflect on how lucky you are to have a husband with such initiative. If that had been me and Alexandre, if he had gotten some huge shipment of furniture while I was on vacation, he would have just slept on top of the stove or something and waited for me to get home to unpack everything.

The rest of the story was just crazy hilarity. Probably not as funny at the time, but funny now. I mean, the delivery gods get on your side by having the truck get stuck and the driver get arrested?! Madness.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! How are you enjoying all of the luxury of american appliances? I have to say, while it was nice getting everything sooner, there are definitely things I miss.

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