After the deft execution of some extreme parallel parking they unloaded all the boxes, over the next hour and a half. We couldn't even offer them a cup of tea as the cups were, at that stage, buried in the curiously labelled boxes, tea is something that one is not allowed to ship from Japan to the UK, and our kettle only runs on 110Volts. As for the curiously labelled boxes, they provided some on the job entertainment for the three men, who, by the end were skeptical about what may actually be inside our boxes. Does anyone know what a "glay cabinet" is or even a "water tunk"? I suppose we will find out in due course. Over the next few hours we created a box city. It is modelled on Tokyo, which also has numerous little districts devoted to peculiar hobbies.
So far we have found no damage apart from one flat bicycle tyre. Fork oil leaked out of one of our tandems, probably as a result of being stored vertically. But it was so well packed that no oil escaped the tandem's packaging. Other than that, things seem in a rather fresher condition than when they left Japan. My impression is that things got freeze dried. Rather than buy mould insurance we invested in some dehumidifying columns in our container. It could be that they worked - as the ship headed towards the equator the stuff could have heated up and the moisture evaporated and been absorbed by the columns, so that it did not recondense when the ship headed polewards.
Unpacking is like a very disappointing Christmas as everything is wrapped in lots of tissue paper so that it is not recognisable. The packers packed everything with the same care, which is probably a good policy, as it isn't for a packer to judge the sentimental value of people's rubbish. Thus my best camera lens was as well packed as the pair of used ear plugs that had been left on the sideboard.