Sunday, March 08, 2009

I've become a consumer again

Well, I was always one I suppose but my consumption habits, in comparison to most of the people I know were fairly non-existant. Of course, having to furnish the apartment meant that I've been buying stuff on a fairly regular basis since I arrived here. In addition to actual furniture there were a lot of little things that always already seemed to be in the places I've lived the last number of years. Like a chopping board. Dustpan and brush. Better pans than the one crappy one I had. For the most part, I am happy with the way I have been spending though. Apart from a few items the first weekend I arrived (couch/bed, single bed for my bedroom, wardrobe from Ikea, sink + cupboard from Toom and washing machine + fridge from Quelle) all of the furniture I have gotten has been second-hand. But, at some stage, enough is enough and although it is tempting to keep going to see what bargains are to be had I really don't need anything further.

And then I discovered eBay. Oh my. It seems to also be a kind of a reaction to the news that so many people I know are being made redundant I think because I've been really fighting the urge to spend, spend, spend the last few days. So, I have bought far more than I originally planned to this month but am nonetheless pleased that I have not gone too wild on eBay as I can understand how easily it can be done (I bid on a pressure cooker today but after one bid dropped out and just saw that it finally went for 42 euro - I can't believe it would have cost that even brand new!). I have treated myself to a couple of DVDs (of films I have already seen a few times and will watch again) but otherwise bought things which I have had somewhere on a list of 'someday when I have money'. It just seems like time is running out to do the consumerist thing and I want to stock up on some things which should, hopefully, help me in my long term goal to being somewhat more self-reliant. Or maybe that's all just a pile of excuses for having had fun spending money I know I shouldn't (to a certain extent) have spent. I am glad to be living in Germany though as the whole credit lifestyle just really isn't the norm here and I don't really have any sources of credit readily available to me (unlike in Ireland where a credit card or overdraft increase were always just a phonecall and 24 hours approval away).

So, in order to put everything down in black and white I am listing everything I've bought on eBay. This lot gathered itself together astoundingly quickly and although I didn't pay a high price for any one thing, once the shipping costs are added and the whole lot together it very quickly has used up all my spare cash for this month (which, given that I'm about to go home for a week is not good but such is life).

Joghurt maker - 2
DVDs (x3) - 3 each
Material squares for quilting - 9
2m material - 6.55
Tupperware mini rice forms - 3
Tupperware butter dish - 2.60
Tupperware jug - 1.75
Butter dish to match my pottery - 11.52
iPod - 35.51
Water bath canner - 2.75
Water bath canner - 2.50
Pressure cooker - 8.05

Some of the silly things I did but luckily got away with:

Bid on two copies of the same film. Silly me. Luckily someone outbid me on one of them five minutes before the auction was due to end and the one I did end up buying was two euro less.

The iPod. You see, late last night it ocurred to me that looking into iPods and mp3 players was something I'd been meaning to do for a long time (based on the idea that it's probably better tan buying CDs) and I thought I'd have a quick look to see if there were any on offer. Of cousre, I don't have any idea how much something like that is supposed to cost other than having had a vague 'expensive' thought in my head so when I saw one for 25 euro I thought it would be worth breaking my 20 euro rule for. Put a max offer of 35 on it and it actually went all the way up to that but then I did win it. But in the meantime I had checked one of the big electronics shops here online and they have them on offer for 45 euro. So, a small saving and a big lesson learned. I need to sit down and really make sure I know what the things are that I still need and find out how much they normally cost.

Must go and pack. At least I know where my passport is. What bliss to have a place for everything. Everything isn't quite in its place but I'm getting there and at least the passport was where it's supposed to be.


Anonymous said...

It's nice to see you are blogging again. I just wanted to say that I have been making yogurt without a yogurt maker and it is super simple (after years of me being afraid to try it because I didn't want to waste the four cups of milk). I have been thinking of posting the recipe on my blog so maybe I should get on that. :)

James said...

You have ended up in the home of Kraftwerk!

I hope you are old enough to remember them.

Maybe you can go round to their studio and pay homage.

One of German friends in Kerry was from Dusseldorf.

Don't forget Freecycling as a way of filling your new place up with "new stuff".

Moonwaves said...

Yep, have tried a few times to make yoghurt but it just never worked so I decided to start myself off with a (hopefully) foolproof method and hopefully get a better feel for it and then try the non-electric way again.

And of course I know Kraftwerk! Although I'm not sure if I really remember them or just know them because of having lived in Germany. Have freecycled a CD stand here but given away more (the ideal situation I suppose). Over here there's Sperrmuell every month so freecycle isn't really very big. Or at least it's just not called that. Once I month people leave any big stuff they want to get rid of outside on the path and the next day it's hauled off by the council. They never have much left to haul away as it all mysteriously disappers in the night. I could have gotten a load of things from that if I'd had access to a car or van and someone to help me carry the stuff but you work with what you've got!