One thing that came out of our recent move, was the realisation that as a family, we have far too much ‘stuff’. When I read about people giving up all their material belongings and living a simple and pure life, I admit, it definitely doesn’t appeal; but I have to be honest and say we could really do with getting rid of a few dozen boxes from our lives. I doubt we’d even notice they’d gone.
The new house is a relatively spacious villa, with plenty of built-in storage, so there is no reason why a week on from the move, we should still be desperately trying to shove things into cupboards and shut the doors really quickly, to prevent tennis racquets, box files and winter boots from giving us a concussion.
Last night I stumbled on, quite literally, a previously unseen box and asked my other half what it contained as it looked as if it had never been opened.
“A vacuum cleaner”, he answered.
“But we already have a vacuum”, I said, “Where did it come from?”.
He informed me it was a free gift from the electrical store when we bought the appliances for our first villa when we arrived in Dubai. We already had a vacuum but they were insistent that we should have another. So, for the past 2 years, it’s been sitting in its box, unopened, waiting for the day when it will finally be christened.
So, in a villa that has only marble floors where vacuuming is a fairly pointless task, we have one perfectly good vacuum that gets used twice a week to clean the one small rug in the lounge, and another, brand new vacuum in a box.
Add to that the all-singing, all-dancing, allergy beating, dust-mite defying Dyson that we left in the UK, and the Hoover that lived in the garage (for reasons I never fully understood), and it becomes clear we are a 4- vacuumed family. Surely this isn’t necessary?
Let’s face it, I don’t have a secret vacuuming fetish – I can remember plenty of heated discussions over whose turn it was to throw the Dyson around the house in the UK when we didn’t have a cleaner, so why on earth do we need 4 of the damn things? One for each of us maybe? Oh heck, we’ll have to go and buy another! Or maybe not.
So, the brand new vacuum has joined an ever-growing pile of ‘stuff’ that is now being flogged on Dubizzle, the Dubai equivalent of Ebay.
I have taken to my new role of pseudo market trader with great enthusiasm and my sales patter is improving by the day. Most of my prospective customers are looking for a bargain so there is plenty of haggling to be done. Add to that, the fact that English is for most of my customers, a second language; I’ve had to adapt my closing arguments to words of one syllable that can be conveyed by sms. I’m doing a blinding trade.
It’s also worryingly addictive. I’m just concerned that once I run out of ‘stuff’, I may move onto everything else. That pure and simple, non-materialistic life could be ours before we know it.