A mouse with dying buttons. A burnt out power supply. A pair of hiking boots unraveling at every conceivable seam, practically bursting apart after nearly walking ten thousand miles in them. What do have all these things have in common? They’re part of everyone’s lives, little details that shouldn’t matter much… but they do weight a lot in my existence, mainly because when I can’t either fix or replace any of these failing things due to my limited resources down here in the jungle.
Last month, my USB thumb drive died. It was only 4 Gigabytes, but they were valuable 4 Gbs of now irreplaceable portable memory that will be sorely missed. And I don’t mean its content, which had been adequately backed up a month earlier. I mean that I’m unable to buy another one; due to the crazy distortions that the Black Market has created on almost every technological gadget in my country, a brand new USB thumb drive would be worth about a month of minimum wage salary… and I don’t have to remind you I earn about one tenth of that sum.
My crappy Microsoft mouse is dying; it’s left button is almost non-reactive to any kind of pressing I might do. It lasted less than a year. There’s a black lagoon of dead pixels the size of two thumbprints sitting at the corner of my laptop’s screen, and it completely obscures the closing and resize buttons of all open windows. Nothing I can do about it.
And this week, after I thought I had fixed my brush trimmer for good, so I could give the machete a rest, the mechanical beast just coughed up a busted ball bearing and stopped working… and it will stay that way. The guy who fixes this sort if things lives about 20 miles away… and besides, I lack the funds to repair it. My calculations tell me I’d have to work a couple of years on my neighbors’ land to recoup the cost, which is financially untenable.
Now tell me again… how much do you envy my charmed life at the edge of a tropical rainforest?