So, last time we saw the sofa, it was being lowered out of our window on a rope.
and driven away in a van, along with 15 boxes containing the rest of our possessions.
That was almost 3 months ago, and almost 10,000 kilometres away.
Today, at long last, our sofa was delivered to the driveway of our new home in Ireland.
The journey had taken much longer than we expected.
We received a notice that our goods had been loaded onto MOL Excelsior in Kobe. Nowadays, you can track any vessel in the world through a system called AIS, so I excitedly logged on to marinetraffic.com to follow the path of our personal effects as they made their way from Japan to Ireland. But during the next few weeks I became confused as I watched the ship shuttling back and forth between ports in East Asia. Why is it going back to Japan with all our stuff? That’s the wrong way! When is it coming to Ireland?
Unbeknownst to us, our boxes had been unloaded in Singapore, and on 2nd June they were loaded onto MSC Irene, which delivered them to Dublin on 28th June, having successfully eluded the pirates of the Straits of Malacca and the Horn of Africa.
It took a further 12 days for our personal effects to clear customs, in what must have been an impressively thorough scrutiny of a pile of used clothes and kitchenware. Part of the reason for the delay was a bottle of wine and a couple of half-empty bottles of spirits. They were in our kitchen when we were leaving, and we put them in the boxes to bring home. Had we known they would cause a problem we would have just dumped them.
I was very impressed with the bespoke cardboard container that WorldTrans had manufactured for the sofa. A lot of time and care, not to mention ingenuity, had gone into crafting it, cutting each piece of cardboard to shape.
To be honest, I hadn’t really thought that the sofa would survive the journey intact. It’s a white leather sofa, and I expected that at the very least it would be badly scuffed, if not completely ruined. So I was pleasantly surprised to find it swaddled in masses of bubble-wrap and safe inside its protective cardboard cocoon.
Our rental house came furnished, and it will be a bit cluttered when we add our own sofa. Especially now that the house is full of boxes waiting to be unpacked.
So for tonight, I’ve left it outside. We’re having a spell of warm, dry weather in Ireland right now, and there is something appealingly decadent about having comfy indoor furniture outdoors. If the weather remains fine over the weekend, we can sit outside in the sunshine.
We wonder if the dogs remember the sofa from our home in Japan. Perhaps the smells remind them of their life there.
So now only our car remains on the high seas – it is currently aboard the Opaline en route from Rotterdam, and due to arrive in Dublin on Sunday morning. But that is another story.