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One of my favourite movies of all time and also an excellent final scene, although apparently it is mostly a painting, is the vast warehouse we see two men wheeling a large box into before the final credits of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Somewhere amongst the thousands of boxes the Ark of the Covenant has been hidden safely away by the government forever (or has it?) much to our hero Indiana Jones’ frustration. Well I have news for ‘Indie’ the Ark of the Covenant could very well be on a ship somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean as this was a similar (not painted) scene in our Thai house not so long ago when we had the packers and shippers in.
I came to Thailand in 1999, over 15 years ago, to teach computers to primary students for two years. I promised my mother I would be back in Derbyshire before she knew it! Now 15 years later I am finally returning home, back to the UK; with a wife, three children and 91 boxes of stuff! I can’t believe it, where did it all come from and what are we going to do with it in the UK?
To be honest I am a bit embarrassed about it and we keep saying to each other, my wife and I – why on earth did we ship that? During the last few weeks that we have been without our 91 boxes of stuff, things so important and vital that we felt they needed to be shipped half way around the world, there is only one item that has been consistently missed and commented on by all in the family. The toaster!! We do miss our toaster.
My own reflections during this transition process have made me realise how much material possessions we accumulate, especially just returning from Vietnam and spending time with family there and seeing how simple but easy daily life can be. I know it is a cliche but who is actually happier? In fact both sets of family are probably just as happy but I know which one has the more complicated life. The irony is that we are going to have to keep most of our stuff in the 91 boxes for the best part of 6 months until we find somewhere big enough to live permanently and then move it all again – but this time just up the road. I hope my wife remembers which box she packed the toaster in!
Thinking about (our) stuff and the pressures of consumerism reminded me of a couple of resources that I would like to share on this post, I have used them both on numerous occasions in the past for Geography lessons and also Global Citizenship workshops / sessions, take a look – I hope you like them: