Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Things I Should Throw Away, But Still Keep

When I was working in some rural area in the past, I was very surprised to find that kampung folks (I've been to many!) generally do not need bookshelves. In two houses that I frequent, there's only sofa set, tv and small cabinet for keeping of VCDs/DVDs and the likes. It's not because they cannot afford it, these kampung folks who owns paddy fields makes about RM20,000 to RM30,000 per harvest, and harvesting is done twice a year. Besides that, they plant their own vegetables, own fruits. Basically, RM80 per month is more than enough to feed one mouth.

They're happy with a kancil for family car, and almost any other time that they want to travel it'll be on a motorcycle. Anyway, as much as I'd like to indulge on how serene their life is, I'm talking on things that I'd like to throw away but cannot. Give away can lah, but some cannot be given away in public. Hehe... we shall see.

Since I'm talking about book cabinet in kampung house, surely this will come up. I believe self-improvement books like "How To Be Rich In 5 Weeks" or "Teaching Series: Flying A Helicopter" or "Sneeze Right For My Type" can still be useful for children along generations to come. But story books, such as that you enjoy, well, let's just say I have up to 20 or more story books, which are good, but most of them will be read only once. Family members are not interested in those kind of stories, so the books just sit there, taking warehouse space in which I should charge rental. Aih... real estate mentality.

If I were to sieve (is it the correct spelling? It's I before E, except after C. Ok, should be correct liao.) the books, I would be able to KNOW which books I know I won't read anymore. I'd give them away to friends or relatives, but then, sometimes you have these emotional attachments to the story, that it's difficult to let go. It's the same emotional attachment that made me still keep the Add Maths book of secondary school. Hey, I have MANY friends who keeps that Add Maths book (thick red coloured one). How to let go lar?

Kampung people buys magazine, in within two weeks, after everyone is satisfied reading it, burn the mags. As much as I'd like to do the same thing, again... it's like "I paid RM10 for that, why throw away??" At least now I've cut my magazines purchase from 4 mags per month to 1 mag per month, and that mag has only 4 months shelf-life. Whatever that's more than four month's old, will be given/thrown away. Yay, so there, I'm cured from mag madness, but books?!? I'm sure many out there have recipe books that weights a ton if put together. How many of these books are opened at least once in the past 5 years?! Sigh... story books will be the same. We buy more books, read them, then keep them, then buy some more. Need to find a cure... B-Virus crawling in my skin, these wounds they will not heal.

My original VCDs and DVDs, eh, what?! Original lah!! Really! I originally bought it, with original money. If I want to buy fake stuff, might as well use fake money right?? Haiya, use your logic lah.

Anyway, if we go to the movies, for two persons, it would cost about RM16 and for a whole family, let's put it 5 people lah, it'll cost RM40. Due to that, most people just opt for that super expensive DVDs that's sold widely at RM80 was it? Or RM100++?? I don't have my receipt, but I think it's RM80 for DVD5 and RM150 for DVD9. :D Help me out here people, using your brains, you'd know what I'm talking about. So anyway, leaving the damn-expensive-how-to-afford-lah price of the DVDs, we'll go to "why keep it?"

There are some shows that are good to keep, especially cartoons. I have relatives' and friends' children watching and rewatching Toy Story, Toy Story 2, The Incredibles, Shrek, Shrek 2, and many others to no ends. Everyday must see. I myself have some non-cartoon shows that I watch several times. Umm.. wait, when I say non-cartoon, I'm talking about real movies, not Triple-X. No, not the one Vin Diesel acts in, the other Triple-X,... ya, Gin Petrol acts it.

These shows (for me lah) are the likes of Braveheart, Se7en, Armageddon, and a few other good movies lah. Teenage horror movies like Scream series, Dead End, Wrong Turn, I Know What You Did series, and all those shows that reminds you so much of the malay nursery rhyme "Sepuluh Budak Hitam" where one by one people die,.... these shows deserve only ONE single viewing. There are good horror shows that can be watched maybe up to another 4-5 times such as Nang-Nak, The Eye, but most of them don't deserved second viewing.

Sorry to say, even top shows like Godzilla, Spiderman, Legally Blonde, Bourne Identity, Sum Of All Fears, I.Robot (trying to cover all spectrum here) are good for one viewing only. So, what does this say?? I believe I have over 150 DVDs, yeah... I rich hoh? 150 DVDs x RM80 = ??? This would say that I will probably never again touch up to 120 of them! Feels like throwing them away, and I think I will. It's really taking up too much space in the house. Well, not really... but it is clutter. Sometimes I think it's just better to enjoy good image and sound of the cinema, than buying DVDs, but then again, you THINK you spend only RM16 on cinema. But counting parking = RM1 to RM15 (1 Utama rate to KLCC rate), counting lunch before the cinema starts = RM15 for two people, counting the snacks you'd be bringing to the cinema = RM10, petrol, shoes depreciation coz of friction with the floor, shirt depreciation coz of friction against the wind, well, you know what I mean. But ya lah, if you're spending time with a loved one, it's worth it.

Well well, I believed I've slowly swaying away from topic. Okay, cut the story short.

Cups and Glasses!!
In many households, even in kampung, we have WAY too many glasses! Yes, they can be used for parties, but parties it's easier just to get paper cups. Too many companies giving free glasses as promotion!

Old garments!!
I know that at least 30% to 50% of what I have I will not wear in 5 years. Heck, at least 20% of what I have I've not worn in the past 5 years!

Hm.... for me, that's the list. I'm quite sure some other guys have problems with having over 50 ties, and at least 15 not worn in the past 2 years... and girls with over 50 shoes, with at least 15 not worn in the past 2 years. I iterate between 4 ties only, as long as my colleages don't say "Same tie again and again ah?" I don't think I'll purchase anymore. And I iterate between 2 working shoes only, men don't need shoes to match, happy for that.

As much as I sound spoilt having so many things to get rid off, as compared to those under-financed citizens of Malaysia (which I have full respect for), admit it, most urban folks are facing the same thing I'm facing.

What's your "need to throw, but cannot" list like?

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