Thursday, 3 January 2013

Yet More Gizmos

Simplify, simplify, simplify….to paraphrase Henry Thoreau, which leads to the mantra for life de-cluttering: ‘one in, one out’, add to the kit list only if you’re prepared to ditch something else, to which we’ve added the further filter: it should ‘have a dual use’.

Even on the road, gizmos have their magnetic fascination, and like all gizmos they arrive from that planet that trades-in Bic pens for traffic cones and coat hangers. Arriving with their own individual machinations, of unique plugs, indivisible chargers or a cordage of cables. A cabal of conspiracies designed to antagonise, frustrate and breed a further requirement for yet another adaptor or chip after crossing the next international frontier.

To this collection we’ve now added the best that the Mercado plastico has to offer: a Boili and a Fuji. One is an manglification for a single cup heater coil, the other the generic for a plug-in bug zapper. A hotplate that disperses a chemical warfare of pollutants that downs mosquitoes with satisfying satisfaction.

We seem to have given up on cooking in hotel bathrooms, not because they’ve started to install smoke detectors, but more to do with weather and substituting dehydrated carbs with canned corn and tinned lentils. Gone back to what one appalled observer called ’funky salads’. Fruits, carbs and cold carne all in one bowl. It saves on washing up, but leaves a problem: a cup of coffee. Hence the boili. On the road, there’s never a problem, all the gas stations have hot water for flasks, just like all the rooms have mosquitoes for annoyance. Hence the Fuji.

The problem now is to find two ditchable items and a couple of secondary uses for our acquisitions, so as to be able to comply with our own rules. Start by dumping all the brochures from the town three before last and use the Boili as a substitute cattle branding iron. As for the Fuji, in
extremis it probably could be used to fry a single slice of chorizo, but it is so small, so useful.  Just think Dengue, then it falls outwith the simplification commandments.  

The net result is that we now carry a bigger volume of techno hardware than we do clothes. It would appear that simplify just isn’t so simple.