Friday, October 5, 2007

The Day Our Furniture Arrived

Buying anything in Jamaica will cost you an arm and a leg and the quality will not be the best. We found that out from the first week we were here trying to find a vehicle. When we arrived, the apartment we rented was unfurnished but our landlord was gracious enough to let us use the furniture from another smaller apartment he rents furnished. This was with the understanding that we would purchase our own furniture as soon as possible.

We began to shop and to our astonishment all of the furniture we found that we liked and that was comfortable was so expensive we knew we couldn't afford it. The furniture we could afford was both ugly (and as you can tell what we decided on will never win any awards for beauty) and very uncomfortable. Okay, it was just plain hard. So, we began to explore other options like getting some made, garage sales, classifieds, we even searched on JamDeal, the Jamaican Ebay. It was just as expensive to get some made, we couldn't find the yard sale even after speaking to the man 3 times for directions (I guess we turned at the wrong yellow house) and we didn't need the barstools on JamDeal.

Finally, the principal of Nathan's school referred us to someone who had helped him. Steven is from India and is a devout catholic. When we arrived at his store he was blaring praise and worship music from these loud speakers. To make this story a little shorter he made us a package deal and really saved us a lot of money.

The day came for the furniture to arrive. Short of the hurricane, it came the worst rainstorm since we arrived. Needless to say the attempts to wrap the furniture in plastic was done in vain and the couch, love seat and chair were soaked. As they began to bring the items in, they started with the stove and refridgerator. They came in fine and only needed to be dried off with a towel. But, then there was the livingroom furniture. They started with the loveseat and it got stuck in the front door and wouldn't budge. I suggested letting the rest of the furniture over the landlord's balcony above ours with some rope. Which is what they did. As you can tell by the following pictures the rope was more like twine and we almost lost the couch when it slipped on the railing because of the rain.

The above picture shows Todd and the 79 year old man the delivery guy brought with him to help unload the furniture as they wait for the first drop.

The first drop was the chair and it was no problem to catch because the twine was big enough to hold ONLY a chair.

But, then there was the issue of the couch. Here we see what it looks like from our balcony as the men above start to inch it over the railing.

When the couch slipped all I could see was it crashing to the ground 3 floors down. By an act of God it swung in close enough to our balcony that Todd and the old man were able to reach out and grab it and pull it in safely.

Once we got it in the house and set it upright, the water drained down and as it dripped onto the floor made puddles. We had to set the couch on towels to soak up the water that was dripping out of it. After most of the water was dry we unwrapped the couch only to find that our brand new couch had a glaring defect on the back cushion.

A lovely cigarette burn adorns the back cushion of our couch. Someone, somehow burned through the multi-layered plastic to leave their mark forever on my couch.

Todd called Steven that sold us the furniture and told him about the burn and he said that it wasn't there when it left the store because he had inspected it thoroughly. The delivery man said that none of his guys smoke and we don't smoke so it is a mystery to us all. Steven was willing to take the couch back and send it to Kingston across the island and get it repaired. That was kind of him but I wasn't willing to try and get the couch back out by taking it over the balcony again. So, I will live with it. Such is life on the island.

Hey...maybe I can get Aunt Ruth to make me an afghan to drape across the back!!!!!!!!!


Nathan's Uncle said...

Be careful what you ask for, you just might get a package from Durant!

Holli Fears said...

We just want you to know that we love reading your blog. It makes us feel like we're there with you (our heart is). We love and miss you!


Sherry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sherry said...

What a fright! The simple things we take for granted. Where is a "Rooms To Go" when you need them! I would have been a basket case through all of that mess. If I know you, you were the calm cool person you always are through it all. I am happy you got your furniture. I am sure it feels more like home now. I wish I was there to help you decorate :)

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