April 30, 2016

Barang Sale

Sometimes, we have too much stuff.  I know this may come as a surprise to you.  You may think that people who have left the comforts and familiarity of their home culture to live in expats in a foreign culture have no problems with materialism.  You would be very wrong.  Missionaries can be some of the worst hoarders ever.  We hang on to stuff like nobody's business.  We are the people who wash out ziploc bags and jam jars for reuse, who keep old Monopoly games with missing pieces, whose children go to a school with a library that still has VHS tapes, if you can believe it.  Because somebody in this community is still using their VCR they brought over in 1992.  

But never fear, to help us with our excess stuff and fight the materialistic monster within, our kids' school puts on a Barang Sale twice a year (Barang=Stuff).  
Ready to sell!  We sold almost all of it, with the plastic totes on the floor being hot items.

There are a few reasons you might want to attend a Barang Sale.  You either have stuff to sell, or you want to buy somebody else's stuff, or you're there purely for the entertainment factor.  And entertaining it is.  People start lining up outside the fence a half-hour before the gates are opened, and the anticipation starts to build.  It always makes me think of Black Friday in America.  Once the gates are opened, it's pure chaos.
The crowds are ready

It took five of us (Grace was helping sell homemade snacks with her class - another bonus to the Barang Sale) to man our table.  At any given moment, 10 different people were crowding our space, elbowing each other to get a look at our stuff.  
First wave of customers

Each time we sell, I go with a firm resolve NOT to buy anything, or be tempted by the ubiquitous box of free books.  But last year we came home with two surfboards, and this year I came home with mint and a few books (I just can't help it).  We divided up some of the proceeds among the kids, so they can have some pocket money this summer to - you guessed it - BUY MORE STUFF!