I made it to San Francisco and am now thoroughly enjoying spending time with J. I didn't realize how much I missed her until we started chatting on the BART and I remembered how we would sometimes end up on the same bus going home from work and we'd gossip & laugh the whole way home. Anyway, I know you're all itchin' to hear about Thailand...and I'll let you know as soon as I get there, but first I have to say -God bless Craigslist!
The whole process of selling/giving away all of my belongings was a learning experience. Shoulda, woulda, coulda… started posting non-essential furniture sooner, done a little better job of contacting people who responded, and importantly woulda, shoulda, coulda timed my postings better… right before the weekend for example. In any case, I did okay… I got just enough money selling my furniture, books (God bless Powells) & CDs (God bless Music Millenium too while we’re at it) that I was able to coast for through unemployement without dipping too much into my savings.
Pardon me while I brag about myself for a minute but I’m really impressed with the fact that I had saved up enough money to pull this whole thing off. I was able to go a full two months without working, paid for the plane ticket, the CELTA course, a new wardrobe, and my none too cheap vacinations & malaria meds. – all on top of my normal expenses. My mom did help me out with a couple hundred dollars when she was here, but really aside from Birthday money, that’s the only financial support I’ve gotten from my parents since mom helped me settle into my first apartment.
Anyway… back to Craigslist. I was feeling bad because less than 24 hours before checking out of my apartment I still had a couch, entertainment center, and desk to deal with. Also all of my cleaning products (mostly full bottles of everything since I’m vastly more enthusiastic about buying cleaning supplies than I am about actually using them), all of my house plants and some other misc. stuff were still laying around. I knew there was nothing else I could do (Goodwill around here doesn’t do pick-ups) and had resigned myself to just throwing everything away. The amount of waste involved was kinda stressing me out. But finally FINALLY someone that I’d been in contact regarding my couch actually showed up! There was a grandpa, mom & teen or 20 something daughter and a BIG TRUCK! They looked at the couch and decided to take it. And then I said “I’ve got other stuff too” and when they saw my desk they were like “It’s perfect” so that went too. They even tried to take the entertainment center, but it just wouldn’t fit. Oh well, at least we got it out of the apartment – which somehow makes me feel a bit better.
On the advice of a friend I had gathered up all my cleaning supplies and had them all in a big plastic bin outside my apartment. I was going to stick a ‘free’ sign on it and bring it to the laundry room, but I asked if they wanted cleaning supplies and the mom said “sure” and took them as well. And as we walked past all my houseplants she asked if I was getting rid of them as well. She took all the plants and even the empty pots… the daughter at this point was positively *dying* of embarrasment “Oh mom!” because the mom was going on about how flower pots are expensive, and houseplants get expensive. It was hillarious, I sooo remember reacting like that to my mom. But I was thrilled that they were effectively just cleaning out my apartment for me. Less waste for the landfill, less work for my landlord, less guilt for me – win win win. Plus you know – I hope I’m racking up some good karma for when I need to furnish my next apartment. After this whole experience, I’m just about ready to vow never to buy another piece of furniture again! At the very least I’m going to give free-cycle & craigslist a go before ever walking into a furniture store.
In short… I have no idea what I would have done without Craigslist – it’s just about the best things to ever happen on the internet.