We’ve had to say goodbye to a lot of things over the past few weeks.
To our apartment in Bruderholz, to our friends, and to Switzerland – our home for the past four years.
Moving out of our apartment and leaving the peaceful and serene neighbourhood of Bruderholz was perhaps one of the saddest parts of leaving Basel. I loved our place; it was small and cozy, and suited our needs. We had lovely neighbours who were friendly and always willing to “babysit” Muci whenever we went away on holiday. Muci seemed to love the apartment, too; he had not one, but several favourite spots where he would snooze the day away. I loved the area just as much as I did the apartment. It was green and quiet. During the day I would retreat into my study and work peacefully, and if I needed some fresh air and clarity of thought, I would just go for a walk up by the water tower and past the fields, saying hello to the cows and horses on the way. I’m pretty sure Muci loved the neighbourhood too, judging from the many birds and squirrels he’s chased, and from the various times he came home with mud on his face and dirt on his paws.
The preparation for the move took a few months. We spent several weekends sorting through our things to determine which ones to keep and which ones to give away or throw out. We had to decide which ones were to be shipped back by sea, which ones by air, and what to carry in our luggage.
And of course, we had to decide what to do with Muci:
The packing itself was quick. The packers came and boxed up everything, including our furniture, in one and a half days. Before I knew it, all our things had been loaded into a container, and our apartment was empty.
We cleaned the house immediately after the packing. We took the curtains down, vacuumed and mopped the floors, scrubbed the bathroom and kitchen, and wiped the windows. By the time we were done, what little evidence of us having ever lived there had been swept and wiped away. The windows were no longer smudged with Muci’s nose prints. The built-in bookshelves were bare.
The apartment was ready for a new family, and for new memories.
The Final Weeks
We stayed in a furnished apartment closer to town during our final month in Basel. We spent most of our time saying our goodbyes to our friends and The Mister’s colleagues, and making final preparations for our trip back to Malaysia.
What about Muci, you ask? Don’t worry, we didn’t dispose of him. How could we leave this face behind?
Besides, he made it pretty clear he was coming home with us:
We’re back in Kuala Lumpur now, and Muci is with us, after having spent a week in the quarantine centre:
He’s slowly adapting to his new environment, but it’ll probably take a while before he feels truly comfortable, as we haven’t properly settled down and established a proper daily routine. We still have a lot of things to sort out.
As I write this, it is almost the end of the first day of the new year. This time around, however, new year’s eve and new year’s day wasn’t about fireworks or cozy dinners or resolutions. In fact, it was almost a non-event.
It was a non-event partly because we’re still busy settling down, and partly because this time around, it wasn’t about saying goodbye to 2015.
It was about saying goodbye to the last four years of our lives. In the book that is the story of my life, I have finished writing one chapter, and the ink is almost dry. The next chapter is still blank.
Happy new year everyone. May 2016 bring us more of what the world needs, and less of what feeds our greed.