Sunday, November 04, 2012


Just packing up to go to Costa Rica.

A few weeks ago I was reading about a certain travel blogger and writer. (I will continue the policy of not linking to anybody, ever -- I stand alone as the X-o-sphere.)

As yet another inane experiment in lifestyle sculpting or whatever they call it, he was going to reduce his total possessions to 20. (Or something like that, I didn't read it very closely.)

And I'm like, yeah, you and every fucking African refugee, dude!

Here's all the shit I threw away when I left Saudi; mostly cheap clothes that I bought at the Filipino clothing shops. (Where they sold a weird combination of second-hand, irregular, and stolen off the back of a truck clothes.) And the usual condiments and books and stuff went to whoever would take them.

I don't think I've owned more than twenty things in my LIFE, unless we're talking about dollars, t-shirts or books. (And of course most of the books remain in my mother's attic.)

I mean hell, nowadays, if you own a laptop -- you conceivably own hundreds or thousands of ebooks, movies, songs, and games, as well as a way to connect to the internet, which allows you access to every kind of entertainment or information imaginable as well as instantaneous connection to practically anybody in the world.

What the fuck else do you NEED? That and some clothes and a couple pairs of shoes. And a first-aid kit, maybe.

God, I remember the mid-to-late 90s -- toting around tattered fucking paperbacks, casette tapes, cheap Chinese walkmen radios, fucking hell! You had to go to cafes to watch bootlegs of recent movies.

If you wanted to talk to a friend in another country, it ended up costing like hundreds of dollars, and you had to go to little phone center places to even do it. Fucking snail mail, jesus christ, even if somebody could be bothered to write you, you wouldn't receive it half the time.

And mobile phones, Christ, THOSE will improve your social life. Having to meet somebody at a particular time or place in a strange country was damn near impossible. Never mind the magic wand of Google Translate.

So I was thinking, THERE'S a challenge for one of you young epic adventure travel dudes -- go out without a laptop or a phone.

And of course write a book about it. You can call it "Analog Adventure Travel" or something like that.


Anonymous said...

Will you be heading into the jungle to practice your survival skills in Costa Rica, or going to the local mom and pop English school to get some hours and relive the bad old days?

English Teacher X said...

Nah, I'm just hanging out. Got a friend here I'm visiting, and I'll hit the beach and maybe be a grizzled old crazy guy.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post, I always had that dilemma when I left oman, had to just chuck or giveaway certain stuff. Travelling light is definitely the best way to go.