T-minus: 6 days
August 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
This is all happening so fast! Everything between waking up and going to bed is a blur. Today I had a couple of doctor appointments that took up large chunks of my day. Skjalg went in to work to deliver his work shirts, keys, and log-in card. The rest of his afternoon was showing the apartment – in all it’s half-packed glory – to a potential renter and giving away furniture to people on finn.no. Putting up stuff we aren’t going to bring with us online was something that I had planned on doing while Skjalg was in Budapest, but I never got around to it. He quickly got to it when he got back. He went around the apartment and storage, taking pictures of things we aren’t bringing with us, and then posted them all on the “give away” section of finn.no. By the end of today, we had gotten rid of our microwave, large IKEA dining table, tall bookshelf, two standing lamps, one ceiling lamp, folding chairs, area rug, and wicker chair. We could have very well put out these items for a small price – 50 or 100 kroner ($8 or $16) would have been no problem – but found it was easier to just give it away. In our experience, people are more inclined to complain or negotiate when they have to pay for something, even if it’s a small fee. It felt really good to give away things. We felt like we were giving a second chance to things that we took for granted and many of the people who came to pick things up showed excitement for their new item.
We were so stimulated by giving things away that we just sped into hyper-drive. My friend Karolina dropped by to pick up something and left with about 15 IKEA pots, a small palm tree, a cactus, badminton rackets, a tennis racket and tennis bag, and a camping chair. The Hungarian woman who came to pick up the bookcase arrived with a Polish woman, whom she had met just that afternoon. They were both living in places they’d found on couchsurfing.org and had absolutely nothing in terms of dish-ware or appliances. The Polish woman had recently arrived in Oslo after spending a year and a half traveling through South and Central America, and before that she had lived in Ireland for four years. The Hungarian woman had been living in Poland (I believe) and told of how she had given away just about everything she owned before her move to Norway. “Oh my god! We’re in heaven!!” the Polish woman exclaimed when I handed them each an IKEA bag and told them that they could take whatever they wanted from our “free stuff box”. Our apartment in Budapest has everything we need, so we are giving away all of our plates, glasses, cooking utensils, rice cooker, toaster, etc. It made me really happy to see the stuff going to a “good home”. It’s always frustrating to move to a new place with nothing but a suitcase of your clothes in tow and begin to think about the things you need to get.
The only thing we ended up selling was Skjalg’s Playstation 3.The sale included the Playstation box, 21 games (including all the Assasin’s Creeds and BioShocks), Guitar Hero (with two guitars), Singstar (with two microphones), and three controllers. The decision to sell everything was a hard one to make. A significant amount of money went into building up this time-user, but it was money well-spent. We spent about half an hour discussing whether or not we wanted to do the sale. Our new place doesn’t have a T.V. so using the Playstation would require that we buy one down there. Electronics in Budapest are much cheaper than here in Oslo, but 2500,- ($420) each on a T.V. is a lot of money for medical students. In addition to the money issue, there is also a time issue. We’re not going to have the same type of free time as we do now. Skjalg pointed out that both the quality and quantity of our free time is going to be much different from the time school starts. Selling the Playstation closed out a chapter in our lives. It isn’t so much the Playstation itself, but more the time period in our lives that it was a part of. We’re moving into an entirely new era and by giving away and selling things from this era, we are making room for new ones.