I never liked moving house. That is not to say I’ve done it many times, but I think it’s because I haven’t done it many times that I don’t like when the time comes that I have to do it. When I moved out of my University at Buffalo dorm to a house in the ghetto, I had not much more than my clothes and personal effects to lug along. When I moved out of the ghetto to an apartment in the suburbs and lived on my own, I had my clothes, personal effects and furniture to move along. When I moved from Buffalo to Boston for my TEFL training, I was back to bringing just my clothes and personal effects. When I moved from the U.S. back to Malaysia, I had to ship my clothes and personal effects back to my parents’ house.
And now, after three years of living with my parents, I’ll be moving out again, this time to a house that they have very very generously acquired for me (“Most people start off homeless, then when they get married they start off with their in-laws; we’re making sure you fall into neither category,” my mother likes to remind me). After many debates with my parents over buying a piece of landed property or a condominium unit, we settled for a townhouse in Sunway Damansara, strangely named Challis Damansara.
The good thing is that this house has never been lived in, so we get to furnish it exactly the way we want it. The bad thing is that this house has never been lived in, so we have to furnish it ourselves. I used to think it would be fun shopping for furniture and picking out beds and sofas and tables — until we got confused from looking at so many beds and sofas and tables. We’ve spent the past few weekends furniture hunting, going from Ikea to Midvalley to Sungai Buloh to look for pieces that might appeal to us, also having to remember that we had to outfit the kitchen and closets as well, and shop for appliances.
Then my father decided that since he has engaged an architect to renovate my parents’ ‘retirement home’ in Klang, he would get her to outfit my entire house as well, the relief of which can only be surpassed by that of quitting my job. So now that every scrap of shelving and cabinet outfitting is being taken care of by the architect, I’m back to looking at beds and sofas and tables.
The difficult part about moving in with someone is remembering to take their preferences into consideration as well. We can agree to having minimalistic furniture in clean colors like white, gray and black, but it becomes a bit of a struggle when one wants to add a pop of color with a bright pink beanbag, and the other refuses to live with anything pink. Up until this point I have agreed to a royal blue beanbag, but as we won’t be moving to Challis until June or July, every now and then I try my luck and suggest a bright pink one instead.