We recently moved into our fourth different apartment in just over four years in Shanghai. We used to do the moving ourselves: Get one of those Dazhong taxi trucks, lift everything in at the new place, and then lift everything out at the old place. Easy and cheap — those things don’t cost much more than a normal taxi. But over the years, we have accumulated quite a bit of stuff, and it had been raining for ages … we just didn’t want to deal with it. So, based on a friend’s suggestion, we called up the moving company branch of the Dazhong taxi empire. It was good advice.
We got one of the biggest trucks available, and after convincing security that it would fit in our lane neighborhood, it was soon being filled with our stuff (by people other than us … and, yes, it was raining). There were five guys, and they worked quickly. We had boxed our stuff up ahead of time — those big green ones you can buy at the post office — and the movers carried them out, at least two at a time. Their technique is worth noting: They don’t carry boxes how we would, arms extended forward, box(es) resting atop them and perhaps against the chest, as well. Instead, they bend forward and balance the first box on the back of the neck. The second box then goes on the small of the back, arms extended backwards to keep it in place. They walk like this, hunched over, boxes on their back, up stairs and down stairs. These were big boxes, mind you, and often rather heavy. Not once did once fall, although the boxes balancing on the necks wobbled just slow enough that we could make out “Fragile” and “当心！易碎!” written on the side. These guys were super human — but they probably won’t be able to walk by the time they are 40.
Everything went smoothly, and that is not a phrase commonly uttered in Shanghai. The truck looked new and it was padded on the inside. The movers covered items in the rain. They didn’t complain when they slipped and fell on the wet pavement and smacked their head on a dog crate. They gave us a ride to the new place. If it didn’t look like the truck would clear a low-hanging wire, one of the movers would climb on to the top of the truck and make sure that it did. When our bed wouldn’t fit up the stairway to our new third-floor apartment, they took it apart and put it back together inside our bedroom.
And how much do you pay for service like this? The big truck, the five movers, the actual moving itself?
That’s right: 500 kuai. Money well spent.
(Now, if only the rest of the moving/redecorating process was so hassle free. Why doesn’t anyone here use drop cloths?!?)
Dazhong Moving Company, Tel: 52833018 (that is the number we called … different number on the website). Give them a few days notice.