Of Moving, Furniture, and Food Poisoning

This post is really mostly about beds, bitching and barfing. You’ve been warned, I’ve had a rough time recently.

Three weeks ago Oliver got a lucky break in the form of several meetings in Munich, securing us almost ten days together in the same country. I celebrated by coming home on day three with this crazy intestinal virus that’s sweeping the entire nation into the bathroom. I came home feeling woozy and by the next day had a 39,9 degree fever. Six days and about six pounds lighter, I made it out of bed just long enough to drop Olli at the airport.

I had three days to suck down fluids, eat dry toast, get some work done and recover and then I was on a plane to New York to meet Olli for our Easter weekend in New York. It was freezing, but still awesome. Other than San Francisco it is probably the only city I’d willingly move to in the US right now.

We got a great deal at the W Hotel for the weekend. Of course we also checked on the status of our bed order, and of course it didn’t happen. American mattresses are simply not shipped abroad.


Research has confirmed that shipping it ourselves on a container would cost about half the price of the damn bed. I had some helpful comments about Euro bed options, but the issue is not just the size, but the box springs. We want to avoid the two-piece box springs, it puts a border down the middle of the bed that’s difficult to cross. For people who spoon, and yes, we do, this is no way to sleep. It’s like constantly leaning uphill in a vain attempt to maintain your preferred position.

Our move is scheduled for next week. We’d hoped to leave behind our current bed, along with a lot of other ‘temporary’ furniture that had managed to hang around several years, but it’s looking like the bed will have a stay of execution, at least for a while.

The search for a solution continues. It continues to get more complicated (more on this at the end).

A nice bookend to my mini-break in New York took shape in the form of a good dose of food poisoning that kicked in 30 minutes before landing on Tuesday morning in the air above the Munich airport. I was in the front row of business class. The pocket holding my bottle of water, emergency card and barf bag was a good three steps away from my seat. As the nausea hit, I stared at the pocket, mentally counting the movements required to undo my seatbelt, get up and grab either water or bag. We were already approaching the airport, the seatbelt sign was on and the flight attendants strapped in.

I played over all the possible scenarios in my head of how it could go down if I got up and lunged in the general direction of the cockpit during landing, where the closest bathroom was. However I looked at it, it didn’t seem like a good idea. I was at that point where if you had to speak, or make extra movements, the jig would be up and all over the floor.

I was certain I would completely disgrace myself. I did anything I could to make the time pass and keep my mind off the growing feeling of sickness and panic. I wondered how wearing all black would fare against the half digested remains of the ‘warm vegetarian breakfast’ I was really wishing I hadn’t ordered. I walked myself through the distance from the gate to the baggage claim and estimated how long I would actually have to wear my soiled clothing before I could get my bag and change. I wondered if there was bird flu outbreak anywhere that would make nervous customs officials slap me into isolation.

It was the longest 30 minutes in history.

I am proud to say I made it to baggage claim, grabbed my bags, wheeled myself through customs – at this point my cart was serving more as a walker – and straight into the bathroom to the last stall where I knelt and prayed to John for about 20 minutes. I made it home in a cab, with two plastic shopping bags as insurance. One IV infusion from my local doctor later and I was back in bed for two days.

Whatever I gained from eating and drinking in New York is gone. Making back to work today, I noticed that although my knees are still wobbly, I fit into my skinny jeans.

Other things are turning out to have silver linings as well.

Oliver’s been spending his time pursuing the bed issue and uncovered a factor we hadn’t considered: size and European architecture. In America everything is huge. In Europe, everything is small. Instead of Europeans just being ignorant of the wonders of the Simmons Beautyrest, here could be a very practical reason why American beds aren’t abundant over here. Had our order gone through we could very well have been in this situation.

Two smaller box springs and a squishy mattress will go through any window. Going by average dimensions, a California King won’t even fit in most normal transporters. Delivery is looking to be more than just an issue of shipping, but getting it through the door… any door.

It’s food for thought, but we haven’t given up just yet.


6 responses to “Of Moving, Furniture, and Food Poisoning

  1. Hästens, Baby. Hästens.

  2. Do beds come with a mortgage?

  3. call shipsmart – based in california. ask about shipping it via surface. should run you about 400 to 600 dollars if its shipped directly to their warehouse in SF.

    e-mail me if oyu need more details. I had kind of a bad experience with them, but they shipped artwork for me and they are not artwork people. mattresses, i think they could handle.

  4. Have you look at Duxiana beds? http://www.duxiana.se/m4n?_locale=14&o=true

    My boyfriend got his bed from Duxiana in Munich and although it has separate box springs, there is a mattress layer that is placed on top of the box springs, so you can spoon all you want. It is a wonderful bed–I miss it everytime I come back to the states.

  5. Hi Megan, I found your blog from another I read regularly (Mausi) and I’m glad I did. I’m from SF, lived in NYC during 9/11 and have been abroad for about 10 years. Your entry reminded me of when I tried to buy a Sealy Serta here in Athens and learned the mattress was 3000 euros and the boxspring was 3500 euros…OMG! What am I, insane?

    I checked Duxiana also, and the prices there weren’t much better. Maybe they’re more reasonable in Munich?

    While in NY, every mattress place I checked told me they don’t abroad. If I’d known this, I would have bought it, shipped it to my then home and had the ship bring it over with all my other stuff…would have been cheaper than buying a 6500 euro bed!

    Let me know if you find something. I ended up buying a top of the line IKEA bed; I don’t like IKEA, but ironically it’s the best you can get without going to Duxiana.

  6. There’s some good leads in the comments that I’ll follow up on, soon as this move is behind us. Thanks everyone for the ideas. As soon as we unpack Thursday, the furniture shopping begins.

    We’re going to look at Haestens and some French brand. Shipping is taking a back seat for the moment. Too many people seem to have bad experiences with shipping and I just don’t have the energy for it right now. If I can find a decent bed over here for about the same price, I’ll go for the security of having someone else handle the delivery.

    More soon on this neverending Sealy Saga.