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May 30, 2012

George Carlin has a famous bit on “stuff.” I’m at an absurd degree, particularly today.

Back in the spring of 2006, I lived in an apartment in Chicago with essentially all of my stuff. Sure, there were old grade school yearbooks or childhood toys at my parents’ houses, but this stuff was more theirs than mine. My stuff was all at my place.

The dissolution of my stuff began when my buddy was in Chicago for the weekend, maybe two weeks before I moved out of town. I gave him my camping equipment to hang onto, and I’ve recently been assured that it still exists at his ex-girlfriend’s apartment.

Shortly thereafter, I moved to my mom’s house, a move brought on by the fact that I was broke and unemployed. As I couldn’t fit all my stuff in my car and was too broke for a U-Haul, I gave away my bed and loaned my original NES and all my games to my cousin. I also stashed a bunch of stuff at another cousin’s house, consisting of things I hope to re-acquire one day (books and maps) and stuff I hope she has thrown away (an ancient printer and TV, maybe a VCR).

I moved to Korea in the fall of 2006, leaving lots of stuff behind at my mom’s house, but then returned to America in late 2008 to couch surf around the country for eight months or so. While at my mom’s, I managed to sell or trash some of my stuff so that I would leave less behind when I returned to Korea in the fall of 2009. Of course, I couldn’t get rid of my pictures or my video game systems, so those are still there, along with some clothes that I could potentially wear again some day.

I left Korea at the end of February to attend my brother’s wedding. Here’s where things get tricky.

I got on the plane with a winter coat, a big backpack, a messenger bag, and two checked roller bags. After the wedding weekend, I sent the larger roller bag off with my dad, so that stuff (I already forget what all is there) is at his house now. I left my wireless router at one friend’s house, because she didn’t have one and I must have wifi everywhere I go. I left the large backpack and messenger bag at another friend’s house, along with my laptop and DVDs. I bought a new backpack for this trip, and took it and the small roller bag back to Korea with me.

I left this small roller bag at yet another buddy’s apartment, in Seoul. That way, If I decide to move back there, I’ll have something to wear on a job interview. I wore my winter coat, travel vest, and backpack to Inceheon airport, and I purposely ditched the coat at the McDonald’s there.

A few days ago, I left my hiking boots and some clothes that I never wear (long pants, socks, long sleeve shirt) at my guesthouse on Khao San Road. I also left my passport in Bangkok since I’m getting a Burmese visa processed. I headed to Chiang Mai with less stuff, and after three nights decided to head to Pai. Since the only way in or out of Pai is via Chiang Mai, I left my big backpack there and just brought a day bag and the vest here.
Today, I went off to the countryside on my rented motorbike. Of course, I left most of my stuff in my room, but brought some stuff in my day bag on the ride. While riding around, I passed some elephant farms and decided to do an elephant ride. They allowed me to change clothes there, since the elephant ride involves getting wet. I wore shorts and a shirt from the farm, and my sandals and boxers. I locked up my bag and clothes and walked to the elephant carrying only my camera and sunglasses.

The elephant trainer told me to take off my shoes before I got on the elephant, so I left them right next to the huge beast. When we got to the river, I gave the trainer my camera and sunglasses to keep on the river shore. Suddenly, I was down to my very last degree of stuff – my boxers.

So, all told, thats self, shore, stable, locker, guesthouse in Pai, guesthouse in Chiang Mai, guesthouse in Bangkok, Seoul, Lawrence (3 places), Florida, Baltimore, Chicago (2 places). Twelve degrees of stuff, covering two continents, three countries, four timezones, and eight cities. I think that might be as far as this degrees of stuff game can be taken. At least I hope so.


From → Thailand, Wrap Up

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