November 21, 2006

I hate moving.

I hate the cleaning, the organizing, the throwing away. I hate making decisions, and that’s all that moving is: an endless chain of decisions.

Do I keep the aromatherapy oils?
How do I throw this respectable yet unsaleable bookcase away?
In the garbage or in the suitcase?
Etcetera, etcetera.

I have t-minus one week left in Kyoto and I should be mourning. But, I don’t have time. My house looks like the Revenge of Hurricane Katrina. Yesterday, we threw away 6 enormous garbage bags filled with absolutely pointless stuff. Wicker baskets that held our remote control collection, bowls unused for the entire two years we lived here, unworn clothes. What amazes me is not so much the sheer volume of things that I own, but rather the sheer volume of unused things that I own.

I met up with a friend the other night. When I told her about my moving woes, she told me that she used to have this ring from Mexico that she loved. One day, she lost it. She searched frantically, but couldn’t find it. Several days later, she found it discombobulated in the middle of the street. My friend realized from that episode that no matter how “important” your stuff may seem, an object is only just that, and in the end there’s always the chance it will be crushed under the tire of a car.

All of the shopping that I did. And for what? A thrift store is buying our things – a sofa, a desk, a chair, a phone/fax machine, several cabinets and closets, mirrors – for 2600 yen (in ‘Mericanese, about $20.) We’ll have to pay the City of Kyoto 3000 yen to throw away a perfectly usable bookcase. Not fair.

In researching my upcoming travels to South East Asia, all of the backpacking websites universally recommend one thing: travel light. How right they are.

(So says the girl who’s taking home two overstuffed suitcases and two overstuffed carry-ons – the very maximum that Northwest Airlines will allow me, and nothing less.)


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