I am packing up my apartment in preparation to making a move to another country. The country I have been living in, Morocco, is cold – at least the part of Morocco that I have been living in. Most of Morocco is NOT cold, but on top of the Middle Atlas Mountains, where the little international school I have worked for during the last three years is located, it is cold. Bezeft (Arabic for ‘too much’). So, I have acquired blankets, coats, boots, galoshes, scarves, hats, gloves, sweaters and underwear that is appropriate for this climate.
I am moving to Panama, where my new job and school are located. Panama has a climate that is 70’s at night and mid-eighties to low-nineties during the day. Every day. The only difference is if it rains. I will not use any cold weather stuff. So, I am having to pick and choose what to take and what to sell off to the used clothing store.
Plus, Morocco uses 220 volt electricity, and a special plug. Panama, due to its long association with the United States during the construction of the Panama Canal, uses 110 volt electricity and the US plug I am used to using. So, I am not taking any Moroccan electrical appliances to Panama, and am selling them off, too.
I had the local metal smith here make for me four shipping crates to ship belongings in. These hand-made METAL crates each cost me less than the CARDBOARD boxes I bought in America that I shipped my stuff to Morocco in. I kid you not. I am going to turn these crates sideways when I get to Panama and stick a wood top on them for my patio tables, or maybe I will use them in my art studio as worktables. Then, if I take another job in another country, I will already have my shipping boxes ready. If I stay in Panama, I will have four nice tables. Till I die – they will last forever.
Still, what will I take that will fit inside the four boxes I had made? What will I sell or give away? What can I replace at low cost, and what can I not get easily there that I should take with me? Do I keep (and ship) that gorgeous sweater even knowing I won’t wear it for at least two years, or sell it? What about that cashmere canary-yellow swing coat I adore, that I found at the souk for 10 dirham ($1.25 US)? And the over-the-knee suede boots?