Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I'm still here .... kinda

My place has gotten increasingly messy and my computer has been moved to the dining table. Cooking has become one dish meals due to everything being reduced to bare minimum and playing the game of trying to fit everything we have into the cartons everything came in. The tricky part is that we have since gotten married and hence scored lots of wedding and engagement presents.

The solution: Offload older junk so we can fit newer junk into cartons yaaay!!

The plan: have a garage sale and make money to offset moving cost $980 plus coming up with bond $1120 etc etc.

Saturday morning dawned early. We had been forewarned by D who works with me that garage sale people can be persistent and arrive as early as 6 am!!! Richard errected a sign that said "Triple prices before 9 am" We stay up late as we can trying to get things ready in boxes to lay out the next morning. I have a fitful nights sleep as I did not want to be awoken with a start from people banging at the door.

We got up at quarter to 7 despite going to bed at 2:30 am the night before. We had been to a nice dinner party organised by B and did not get home until midnight.Anyway, Michael who is Debs husband came to give us a hand. We took down the sign so we could start laying things out and not 5 minutes past 7 cars started arriving and people literally started pushing past boxes to rummage through our things!! I was really shocked and asked them to please leave and return at 9 am. It fell on deaf ears and people started offering money for this and that. I was really unruffled but accepted their offers so they would leave. Yet more and more kept coming and I was really upset as I could not set things out the way I wanted, people were asking for this and that and it got really stressful. It was a totally harrowing exprience. I had never met the kiasu Australian before today. Kiasu is a Singlish (Singaporean English) term, defined at www.singlishdictionary.com: as kiasu /kiah-soo, ÈkiAsU/ n. & a. [Hk. kia fear + su loss; Mand. 怕输 pàshū] Also kia su. A n. One who is afraid to lose out to someone else, often to the point of selfishness; an over-cautious person. B a. Afraid of losing out to someone else, and therefore often behaving selfishly and disregarding others.

Singaporeans often laugh at this sort of behaviour and it is generally frowned upon, yet comes up quite often in social circumstances eg. arriving early to a buffet to beat the crowds and get the freshest foods etc. It is often a big part of their local satires. But I digress... I was extremely shocked as I had not seen much of this behaviour here in Australia yet here it was rearing its ugly head in my garage. I commented to a lady who asked if three were anymore books that they were gone because some inconsiderate people had arrived before time and took them. There was nervous shuffling from the group further towards the front who had arrived earlier. I felt bad but I could not hide my frustration at that point. Which part of 9 am in the newspaper did they not understand??

There was a lull from 10:30 am to 12 and that was the best part of the day as Deb and Michael (who bought some of our stuff) just came and hung out. We brought out the futon sofas to sun (as well as to see if we could get a reasonable offer for them) and we lay on them out on the front lawn. We had chips and juice and lazed about. We finished up at 3 pm and started deciding which of the remainder to toss and which decent items to give to charity. We ended up about $280 richer. Which wasn't a lot but it would help towards the cost of moving. Also it cut down the things we felt were too good to throw out find new homes. As D's daughter E plugged for her mum. " Come to our garage sale!!! Make our sh*t your sh*t!!" or Michaels milder version," Garage sale... where our crap becomes yours"

P/S For those who think wikipedia has not provided enough info about singlish, more can be found at http://www.une.edu.au/langnet/singlish.htm


At 2:42 AM, Blogger Dentist Down Under said...

When I was in Mt Isa I used to go to garage sales and I'd been wondering why all the good stuff were gone even though I got there right before the sale starts. Then my DA told me if I want to get anything decent from garage sale I'll have to get there at 6am, it doesn't matter what time ppl say it'll start! When she had a garage sale someone even turned up at 5am, sheesh.
The link abt Singlish is very interesting, I didn't know ppl actually do research on this subject. Thanks for sharing.
By the way, my laptop has been on the kitchen bench ever since I moved in, so is the printer, hehe.
Happy moving! :D

At 3:52 AM, Blogger KirkK said...

Hi Rachel - Such aggressive people! Loved the bit of "Singlish" - I heard alot of it in Jack Neo movies, and it reminded me of Pidgin! Hope you move goes smoothly, and that you have recovered a bit. I'll ask the Missus if she understands the Mandarin saying.

At 12:28 PM, Blogger RON said...

awful, but I don't believe it's possible to keep early birds from showing up too early for garage sales. They could have driven all the way from the other side of the island for what anyone knows for sure.

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Dr. Mommy, D.D.S. said...

yikes! i thought people only acted like that on new york city subways! i hate moving, really. after our last experience, canuck and i vowed that we weren't going to leave for a looooong time, so we better pick a place that we really, really like. my mom's getting ready to sell her house to leave for michigan and she's planning on a garage sale herself. this woman has more crap than god. your story sounds encouraging!

good luck! where will you wind up next?

At 3:44 AM, Blogger Clare Eats said...

Yes Gargae sale people are CRAZY!!!

I think you need to be set up the night before and then set up a cordonline with big weapons to keep them back til starting time LOL I dont think that would even work.

At 5:35 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

hey all... sorry haven't written in last few days... I'm actually away in S'pore!! Am trying to take heaps of pics etc. But its been good havcing a break from all the packing and moving stuff.

Will be back soon and catching up on all your news !!!

At 3:04 PM, Blogger milgwimper said...


Oh I am not up with the super early birds! I feel for you as I have had to deal with that here in California. Funny thing is its a two person job. One of them keeps the car running, and the other rummages through your stuff that you are still putting out. *sigh*

At 2:08 PM, Blogger milgwimper said...

HUGZ I hope your trip to Singapore, is awesome and then some. I just miss you posting! HUGZ :)


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