Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Putting things in perspective

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There are a great many things out there that I think I can do without quite easily: make-up, fancy clothes, high heels, T.V./video player, microwave, handphone, aircon, icecream, hot water and yes, even chocolate.

I was having that conversation with a friend from India, and then we got on to what we didn't have when we were growing up, but had now and just couldn't do without...

I said: The internet, because it is my way of keeping in contact with my scattered family - on a daily basis if we want - as well as a valuable tool for my work as a writer and a way of maintaining friendships.

My Indian friend said she had once posed that same question to an elderly Indian lady, to which the woman replied without hesitation: 'Running water.' As a child and young adult, much of her day had been spent getting water from the river.

I'm still grateful for the internet, but ... yeah. There are other things which might be a tad more basic. Which many folk still don't have.
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3 comments:

Jo said...

Now Matt would agree with you, he is anti a lot of modern things, he swears that f I go first he will be getting a cash book and doing it the old fashioned way. I keep threatening to get him some skins and send him out to make his way in a cave. I suppose I could do without stuff, but why would I want to?

Imagine me said...

About fifteen years ago I saw an interview with a 97 year old woman - I so hope my brain is functioning that well if I reach her age. She was asked the same question and she said, "Electricity." This was partly because of the labour involved in keeping oil lamps clean but mostly because it cut down accidental fires and provided a way of keeping perishable food fresh for longer periods so cutting waste.

Glenda Larke said...

You know, when I was a girl, we had a frig - and it ran on kerosene. Mother made icecream in it; we always had ice,so that's one thing you actually don't need electricity for. However, there were plenty of fires because people were too lazy or ignorant about keeping the wick trimmed.

Also when I was very young,postwar years, we had lots of blackouts. The lamps were always filled, the candles in easy reach in the dark...
I thought it was fun.