Oh happy day!!
So yesterday afternoon three guys brought two massive wooden crates containing 60 boxes of my gear. Their first move was to ask me if I had a hammer. Er yes, inside one of the crates... lack of foresight alert.
Anyhoo, so I ask the nice neighbours (not the German porn man - that´s another blog entry). They produce one philips head screwdriver and a pair of pliers. Now, these crates are heavy-duty international shipping crates. We´re not talking about some spindly lemon boxes.
Still, the guys spend 40 minutes trying to chip away. Meanwhile the nice neighbours have asked another neighbour: she is eager to help, goes to her brother (who has a shop around the corner), and comes back brandishing
Some slight hitch in communication there.
Finally one of the three comes back with a crowbar - Captain Clever! - and they get to work. All the boxes are numbered and I need to check them off: so nice neighbour #1 stands outside, reads the box and tells the hauler the number in English, hauler comes in to the building chanting the number, which gives me time to find it on my list and decide where it should go. Nice neighbour #2 is inside with me, as the haulers abandon English easily enough and she´s better at her Portuguese numbers than I am. I feel everyone learned a lot.
Unpacked for hours, then curled up on my sofa and fell asleep.
By the way, I heard back from Muppet Movers: they were shocked to hear that my stuff hadn´t arrived. They´re going to look into it and get back to me.