Wednesday night. Boarded a train in City Hall interchange bound home. I sat next to an Aussie family. They looked tired from a day trip and I wasn't tired considering I had a city tour by myself too. I was sitting next to the dad holding on to his son on his lap. I began to fidget on my things and became busy checking my phones. At this time I had to carry 3 phones. I checked it one by one to see if I have any messages and then suddenly the dad next to me asked "Do you have enough funds?” Surprised to be asked that way and I sort of thought he needed help on something so I said I'm sorry and I wanted to clarify what he meant. Then he said again "Do you have enough funds because I see you have 3 phones in your hand" and I was astonished of what he thought of me in that instant. I answered that I am actually a tourist as well so I had to carry extra phone for emergencies. This made me feel bad although the dad was probably just asking innocently and wondering why I'm carrying 3 phones.
Well just to give myself some credit. I never bought any of the phones I was carrying. One was borrowed (temporarily for this trip). One was from my dad (who happens to pick up that phone from somewhere and could not find the owner). And one was the one I picked up and looked for the owner, contacted the owner but never got any replies (so I considered it my own prized possession). I never bought any of these phones. I just had to use three during this time in order to save money by using prepaid cards to get in touch with my family and friends, and like I said, for emergencies as I’m travelling alone.
Then it got me thinking that people will not usually ask you that way. What they see in you is just what they are going to get like that dad seated next to me. If he didn’t bother to ask, he wouldn’t get that clarification and just wonder why people carry three phones. Why can’t people be satisfied with just one phone? Supposed there are really people who own 3 or more phones just to show off or just because they are too greedy to have so many of it. I’m glad I’m not that kind. But what if I am? Not just with phones but on other things. If you have enough funds, are you really going to splurge on many things to satisfy yourself, to objectively fill in the emptiness you have with all these material things. When do you say enough to so many things when there are other things you should be giving priority instead? In the past couple of years, I have gone to a conclusion that I have so many things with me. So many excess baggage to carry and so many that I decided to give away stuff, donated, sold and thrown away. All those things that I don’t have any use were given to those who I think may need it more. I have learned to keep only those important things and just try to live on an 8-day wardrobe and stay that way. New things will come and go but spending your money wisely or on other things that matters more is what I’m trying to do now. To live better. To live sensibly. And to live simply.
Singapore (Written on board a North-South Line MRT train ride on 9th April 2014 2105H)
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