Boxes as a moment in time

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I open our most recently delivered batch of boxes (the shipment from Ukraine), sneezing at the dust and trying not to get my white shirt dirty (much easier to handle things gingerly than to go get changed, no?)

I’ve previously touched on the little moments of homesickness I feel for Kyiv. It was my home for 2.5 years. But, as I unpack the few belongings we had in our apartment there that ‘made it feel like home’, I’m overcome with another wave of Ukr-sickness.

Me pregnant. No, I can't believe I am pining for this furniture either.
Me pregnant. No, I can't believe I am pining for this furniture either.

It’s the smell. I unpack the clothes and linen that we practically wore thin (we didn’t buy much because we knew we’d just ‘have to ship it all home’), and the smell wafts up: the smell of a life that I loved to complain about, but was pretty cool actually (especially now that I’m back in Australia and a min. $2000 flight away from Europe).

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The smell of Tide washing powder, mixed with hard water tinged with heavy metal from old pipes. The smell of 24/7 central heating that was created miles away in a huge furnace on the outskirts of the city and beamed into my apartment. The smell of wooden parquet floors, built after WWII (and if you listen to the gossip, built by the hands of German POWs).

The smell of a group of wonderful friends, of being pregnant, of lovely summer days and miserable winter ones, of watching my tiny baby grow a little every day. The smell of a different life, just for a while.

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It was my everday smell for over two years. And those wonderful movers managed to pack it into a box, and ship it all the way to Australia.

ETA: Holy moley I became unglamorous when pregnant. Sure haven’t reclaim any glamour. I think I will have to launch project “get glamour mojo back”. At least I’ve finally had a haircut.


13 thoughts on “Boxes as a moment in time

  1. How wonderful! Isn’t it wonderful when a smell evokes a memory. It’s a great feeling. Thanks for all your comments of late ~ have been meaning to get back to you but stuck at work tonight so this is my best way to do it!
    Hope Darwin is treating you better ~ at least their is a world of virtual friends at your fingertips!

    1. Hi Kellie. Thanks for visiting! Oh well, hopefully I provided a 30 second diversion from working late 🙂 Darwin is treating us fine, we especially love the weather at the moment.

  2. The smells of Ukraine – in a box. That makes me giggle. Are you surprise you miss the place or in a few months when they are covered in snow and you are warm and toasty will that totally disappear?

  3. I have to admit the smell of rusty pipes doesn’t actually sound too appealing to me. I do hope you settle into life in Darwin soon.

  4. I know exactly what you mean, though now I have no sense of smell, so if the movers pack it from Oxford, I won’t be any the wiser.

    Thanks for your encouraging moving comment recently, it made me feel like I might get there eventually.

  5. Hello Miss Moi,

    I recently landed in Kyiv. My husband and I and our 3 month old daughter flew in from Canada on a two year contract. Even though I don’t know you, I feel like sending you a “wish you were here” post card. If you have ANY hints, tips (such as how to make sure the laundry doesn’t go moldy hanging in the living room), I would love to hear them! I’d also like some recipes that are easily made here with easy to find ingredients. Please. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed! Thanks for your blog. I love it.

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