Yesterday our lift, the 640 cubic feet of STUFF we shipped over the ocean, arrived at our apartment. It was hauled from the street, up a half flight of stairs, and into our building’s tiny elevator. Except for the three huge, heavy, real wood bookcases–those were pushed up another two flights of stairs because they did not fit in the elevator.
The kids mostly stayed out of the way, thanks to a heavy dose of Clifford and a half hour at the park across the street. Halfway through, we fetched the guys falafel and Coke for lunch.
“Why are we buying them lunch?” inquired Miss M.
“Because that’s what you do when you move. It’s hard work to move all those heavy boxes, so we make sure they have plenty of water to drink and we offer them lunch. Remember in New York on the day we moved? We had bagels for the men who were packing our things.”
“It is hard work,” she agreed. “Are they slaves?”
“Are the men slaves?”
“No, honey. They work very hard, but they get paid to do it. Slaves don’t get paid. And if these men decide they don’t want to be moving men any more, they can quit and do something else. Slaves can’t leave.”
It occurred to me that Miss M probably doesn’t consider what Taxman and I do as “work” (sitting at a computer, typing, talking on the phone, sending emails, “crunching numbers,” etc.) as hard work. In school, during the run-up to Pesach, I’m sure they described the backbreaking work of the slaves of building cities for the Pharaohs, which jived with the work she saw the movers doing. So it all made sense. After the fact.