On Friday, we received the shipment of our overseas airfreight (lovingly referred to as UAB...unless you are my mom and then it is the U Box).  This was a huge learning experience.  There are places where Andrew and I rocked it on item selections, and then there were epic failures.

In DC there was an EPIC miscommunication between us and the lovely man in charge of our pack out.  What we heard was "you get one big box with certain dimensions that takes 450 pounds."  In response to this, Andrew and I drew a box matching the dimensions on the floor and stacked stuff in accordingly.  We highlighted what were things we couldn't live with out (insert joke from Spaceballs) and things that would make us feel at home faster in Bangkok.  This stuff in our "fake box" was NOWHERE near 450 pounds, but we thought we had  filled it correctly.

Cut to day of pack out.  The moving ladies finished packing our box, and we lined the top with the blanket from our bed (an excellent addition and incredibly efficient for packing).  Then they weighed the box at a STRAPPING 200 pounds.  The lady looked at me and said "ok next box."  My eyes bugged out of my head and dread hit me.  We got another box!?!?  Apparently when the gentleman was describing the dimensions of the box, he was explaining that large items could not go in, like a television or a 449 lb car.  So now we were in trouble.  My mom and I ran around throwing stuff into our second box.  Unfortunately, the HHE packing fiends had already packed up most of the kitchen.  So I couldn't add pots and pans or any of that jazz.

Now that the stuff has arrived in Bangkok, I will rate our packing a solid B+.  We get points for the laundry basket of clothes I threw in last minute, since we were both sick of the same clothes.  I lose points for not throwing in towels.  You would be surprised how much your own towels comfort you.  We get points for the large quantity of food we packed given cereal prices, but we lose points for not including more pictures and things from around the house.  The apartment in Bangkok is really nice but still doesn't feel quite like home.  The B+ comes from the fact we included 3 different types of coffee and 2 coffee makers after suffering here on the coffee front for almost an entire month.  Not an A- because we packed the electric tea kettle without taking into account the "hot spigot" on the water cooler!  Also the Wii and the DVD player were brilliant additions!  Packing only 5 DVDs and a season of glee, not the greatest movie selection.  We are now taking bets on how many times we will watch Empire Records before HHE arrives.  And as if I was freakishly clairvoyant, I shopped like crazy for hair products (clips and hair ties).  For some reason all the hair clips here have Hello Kitty or something else odd on them (not suitable for the workplace).

There were a few other items that came in just in time.  For example, we had finally bought detergent, but it was aggravating my skin.  Enter the special the detergent we stocked up on at Costco.  Also, Andrew's goggles came so he can now go swimming and stop complaining that the treadmill is hurting his old man knees.  The dogs are also thrilled to have new dog toys, new treats, and a fresh supply of food.  Most importantly, Andrew's humidor arrived - with pipe - so he can now resume his old Virginia gentlemanly ways by sitting on the balcony and smoking.

Hope this helps any would be pack outers...***Cough Laura Hobbs this is for you!***


  1. Thanks!! This was super-helpful! I haven't been able to get much insight on the what to bring front. I haven't even started thinking about the UAB vs. HHE decisions yet. I'm sure i'll be picking your brain as our pack out gets closer. Miss you guys!!

  2. Laura, bring hangers. Lots of them. Also, see if you can ask someone what comes in your welcome kit in Kathmandu. Apparently its different at different embassies and will guide you to things that you can leave for HHE.

  3. Bring sheets and pillows (better yet, mail them). Welcome kit sheets are the cheapest available.

  4. Awesome, thanks for the tips! I was wondering about hangers. And i was planning on putting our bedding in our UAB shipment. Keep the tips coming -- apparently we're meeting with the packout people next week sometime.

  5. Oh yeah, I think the thing I regret most was forgetting to pack an alarm clock. Actually, we don't have any clocks except for watches and cell phones.


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