Tim in Georgia

This is a blog to chronicle my experiences in the Republic of Georgia as a Peace Corps TEFL volunteer. *The views expressed herein are mine and are not necessarily those of the Peace Corps or the US Government.*

04 November 2007

Minimalism

I had the great pleasure of talking with some of my (still living in America) friends on my cell phone last week. During the course of our conversation, as we discussed my imminent move to an apartment, my friend said "Why Tim, I thought you had become a minimalist!" Later, after our phone call had finished, my mind returned to his remark. My first thought was "Oooo, a minimalist, how exciting and exotic!" This seemed like the kind of personal change and growth that one expects to receive from the Peace Corps - an entirely new way of viewing life. It is certainly more appealing than increased chest hair.

But am I a minimalist? Was I? Should I be?

I think I can say safely that I am not currently a minimalist. I possess many useless things, such as books I've already read, a flyswatter that I never use, a travel iron (well-intentioned, but disagreeable with my clothing style), and 3 pairs of shoes (plus sandals!). And, while I was extraordinarily careful with money (aka cheap) when I lived in America, I don't think you could call anyone who owned a sports-bag designed specifically for frisbee a minimalist. This leaves only the third question.

[Since too much philosophy at once is a bad thing, I want to digress for a moment. This is almost (really almost) related. It couldn't get more almost-related without actually being related. So anyway, "minimum" is my favorite word to write in cursive script. Go ahead, try it. Now, stare at it for a second. It's all humps or upside-down humps, especially if you, like me, seldom dot your i's. Isn't it great? It looks just like a scribble, or like you were testing the pen to see if it worked. But it's a word, too. I think that's wonderful, especially since everyone says that my writing looks like scribbling anyway. But in reality, I don't scribble, I just write "minimum" over and over and over again.]

So, should I be a minimalist? I suppose that, in the Peace Corps, it couldn't hurt. I already have less money, fewer clothes, and fewer "needs" than I ever had before. But still, despite the stereotype of a Peace Corps Volunteer, I am not living alone in a hut writing in my journal all the time (when I'm not saving the world, of course). Instead, I try to vary my activities, and this requires (for me at least), a bunch of stuff. Invariably, it's stuff that I sometimes don't need or want. Like a romance novel. I don't need a romance novel. I don't even want a romance novel. But, somehow, I have one. Actually, I know exactly how this bizarre scenario came to pass. Sometimes, when somebody offers you a romance novel, the prospect of saying no is too daunting. You need to then explain why. And for me, this is a long ordeal. I really dislike romance novels. Invariably, after I finish my diatribe, I seem like a literary snob. Next, my conversant usually asks that, since I don't like romance novels, what kind of books could I possible like? I mention that I like sociological nonfiction and spy novels. This doesn't help, as spy novels are romance novels for men. Then, I end up looking like a hypocrite. Sometimes I'd rather just say yes, take the romance novel, and be done with it. So now I have a romance novel.

I guess the romance novel example means that I should be a minimalist.

Romance-Novel-Junkie: "Tim, would you like to read a romance novel? This one is my favorite. It's Danielle Steele."
Tim: "No, not really."
Romance-Novel-Junkie: "Oh, that's too bad. Why not? I think you'd like it."
Tim: "Actually, I'm a minimalist. I'd love to take the book, but I don't want anything extra in my life right now."
Romance-Novel-Junkie: "Oh really, you're a minimalist? That's so cool! Do you want to go out to dinner? My treat..."

Actually, I guess that means I shouldn't be a minimalist. Romance-Novel-Junkies aren't really my type. On the other hand, I think that me dating a minimalist would be a good idea. Think about it...no need to buy gifts, a Big Mac is an extravagent dinner, and for once I'm not the cheap one. It would be wonderful!

By the way, if you are a female minimalist, please contact me.


In other news, I have decided to move to an apartment. Also, Halloween occurred, and I received no candy. My students enjoyed seeing pictures of me in costume, however. As Georgia doesn't have Halloween, the photo of me in 1992 with green hair, a multi-colored painted face, and a large black cape was (and who can blame them for thinking this?) the strangest thing ever for my students. I earned many cool points for that one.


If you dressed in costume this Halloween and have a digital photo, please send it to me. My students would really enjoy it. I'll even send you their comments and guesses as to what you are.


Tim

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1 Comments:

Blogger alexistentialism said...

you're humorous.

Wed Jan 23, 10:09:00 PM GMT+4  

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