Site icon Things I find in the garbage

The frustrations and anxieties post

Today I paid a visit to the police in an attempt to get back the bag of jewelry that was confiscated from me three months ago.

Unfortunately, I was told that the bag was “sent for destruction,” which might just means it went to a government auction. The woman working the desk told me that I was supposed to make a request if I wanted the items back. I had, of course, and I was told explicitly to come in today. That’s why I came in exactly three months later – they told me there was an “investigation” period before I could pick up the bag. I mentioned this and the clerk told me there must have been some sort of miscommunication.

Not much I can do really. It just sucks as even if it was just average vintage-y costume jewelry I may have been able to make a few hundred from it.

She also told me that if I had gotten the jewelry back I would not have been able to sell it for 10 years in case the rightful owner decided to claim it. That sounded pretty much insane to me, as if three months wasn’t long enough already.

I’d say that my mood is “moderately annoyed” as a result. I’ll just have to keep picking I guess!

Finds have been a bit hard to come by lately. There’s a lot of things on the curb as July 1st (the big moving day in Montreal) nears but a lot of it is the typical junk people leave behind when they move. Nothing too exciting or worthy of a post.

I think I’ve pushed myself a little too hard and craved the big finds a bit too much recently. It’s taken some of the fun out of the hunt. I have to go into it with more of a meditative mindset going forward. My specific form of trash picking requires a lot of patience and without that I’m going to have a bad time. There’s simply not enough interesting stuff on a day to day (or even week to week) basis to constantly fulfil some craving for gold, silver, and other treasures.

My fear (bordering on phobia) of getting bedbugs have also been stressful. Bedbugs are scary mostly because I have room-mates. They have the ability to turn this cool thing I’m doing into something burdensome, both for myself and for the people around me. Suddenly I’d have a hard time bragging about my finds, people might not introduce me and my blog to others with the same vigour, and so on. There’s a lot of fear in our society related to bedbugs which I think speaks mostly to the level of comfort that the citizens of the first world have come to expect. It’s definitely understandable though, as they are fairly unpleasant to have around.

Usually you can tell when things are being thrown out because of bedbugs. However, when I’m particularly focused on them I lose my sense of intuition (which is quite accurate I think) and see them in all trash. I leave things behind that I might otherwise take out of this fear. If only I had a shed or back yard or something it would all be a bit easier.

Regardless, this fear comes and goes. Sometimes it’s intense and irrational and sometimes it’s mild and helpful. Overall I must be doing something right as my track record for not getting bedbugs is pretty damn good.

My goal for the rest of the “Summer of Garbage” is to treat the hunt as a sort of meditation as opposed to a appetitive quest for gold, jewels, and other treasures. Wanting things more never did anyone any good (especially while looking for needles in haystacks). I’ll also try to have a bit more faith in my natural bedbug detection skills.

I found a few things on Monday in a little corner of Outremont (near Jeanne-Mance park) that I never thought to explore before. Someone was cleaning out a house and put some things, most of which looked to be from a kitchen, out on the side of the road. This little box is an old slide projector. It needs a bulb and the wiring on the back is a bit sketchy but I think it’s fine overall. I saw one like it selling for about 25 on Ebay.

I also found this humidity gauge. As you can see it’s pretty humid right now!

Finally, a little book of fish recipes from 1948. Surely someone will give me a little bit for this at a yard sale.

Today’s a day off. It looks like there’ll be a fair bit of rain this week, which isn’t particularly good for the picking.

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