Monday, June 15, 2009

Scavenging 2009

We learned our lesson last year, so once again Dawn and I went out in the weekend following all the graduation ceremonies, rescuing things from the alleyways behind student apartment buildings.

I'm pretty sure this year's haul was much weirder than last year's. On the one hand, there were a lot of repeat goods. For example, for the second year in a row I expect I will have no need to buy new vinegar. But there were also some things you truly wouldn't expect, like lace curtains (in good condition), or a whole smoked salmon in one of those wooden gift boxes (like you see in airport shops or touristy stores in Vancouver). It was still in the original shrink wrap, and it's still good for another couple of years (not that we'll let it sit around that long). Who throws that away?

(We also discovered a big-ass box of hon dashi, but it was opened, and had possibly been rained on, so Dawn decided it actually was garbage. So sad--that probably could have lasted us the rest of our time in Chicago.)

As we were meandering around, we ran into a couple of undergrads I knew. I wonder how your average student would react to seeing his TA picking salmon out of the trash?


voter said...

Holy crap, you take other people's garbage, including edibles? That's really weird. Ever consider getting a job so you can buy stuff?

Toby said...

You know what's weird? Our consume-and-dispose culture. Weird and sinful.

And perish the thought that we should aspire to make more money in order to "buy stuff". No one can serve two masters, or so the saying goes.

voter said...

There's a lot of room between money as an idol, and eating other people's garbage.

Toby said...

Well, that depends. If you're eating other people's garbage out of the necessity of poverty, then, yes, you could rightly want more money for buying stuff.

On the other hand, my wife and I already make more than enough money, and have more than enough stuff, so I think it would be a problem if we wanted more money in order to buy more stuff.

voter said...

I suppose if you have more than enough stuff, it doesn't make sense to buy more stuff.

But if you have more than enough stuff, it doesn't make sense to go through other people's garbage.