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I have reached a new low.





Nameless
Let me set the scene. I've been living in a rented room about a month and a half. It's kind of a dump: cockroaches, mold, stuff left everywhere, you get the idea. My only income amounts to a token shift or two at a fast foot outlet. Wanting to finally finish and actually submit my latest novel, I've been living very frugally off my savings. The house owner is also fairly cheap, and often buys bulk quantities of food. One such food is instant noodles, the kind that come with several little flavouring sachets.

Now cut to: The kitchen, where I'm throwing away an apple core and notice that the owner has only been using one of the different sachets when cooking the noodles. So what do I do? Dig through the rubbish bin to pick out the sachets, cut free and wash the unused ones (they're individually sealed, but attached in one line), then neatly store them away to flavour my generic brand spiral pasta.

My life is kind of pathetic. >_>
RefTest
That seems quite a bad situation to live in (although I guess it could be a lot worse) - hopefully it doesn't last very long.

What kind of book are you writing? And considering you said "latest novel", does that mean you already finished some novels?
Nintendo
We students can only call you a legend : )

I'm guessing novel writing is your passion and what you love to do. The fact that you're doing what you can with what you've got while you try and follow that dream is amazing. You clearly have a lot of guts and will to be living in such conditions, and that is what matters.

I'm sure you'll live no regrets : )
deanhills
Nameless wrote:
Let me set the scene. I've been living in a rented room about a month and a half. It's kind of a dump: cockroaches, mold, stuff left everywhere, you get the idea. My only income amounts to a token shift or two at a fast foot outlet. Wanting to finally finish and actually submit my latest novel, I've been living very frugally off my savings. The house owner is also fairly cheap, and often buys bulk quantities of food. One such food is instant noodles, the kind that come with several little flavouring sachets.

Now cut to: The kitchen, where I'm throwing away an apple core and notice that the owner has only been using one of the different sachets when cooking the noodles. So what do I do? Dig through the rubbish bin to pick out the sachets, cut free and wash the unused ones (they're individually sealed, but attached in one line), then neatly store them away to flavour my generic brand spiral pasta.

My life is kind of pathetic. >_>
Maybe you can write a book about it? Very Happy

Seriously though, I had a friend who lived a lifestyle like that. All his friends, myself included, insisted that he shares digs with us, but he just had to do it the hard way. Which I kind'a admired as I like characters who are their own person. He'd shop around for the very cheapest digs and then we got to hear all the interesting bits about his accommodation, particularly the land ladies and neighbours. He was unemployed for a long time and refused to use unemployment benefits. He'd wait for labourer piece work in the mornings and you have to believe how this guy actually even managed to save from his minimum wages. He did all kinds of interesting work including driving cars for auto rental companies on a part-time basis.
watersoul
Nameless wrote:
So what do I do? Dig through the rubbish bin to pick out the sachets, cut free and wash the unused ones


Excellent use of otherwise discarded resources Nameless Smile but in 6 months of sleeping on the streets myself many years ago I never went through someones bin just to improve the flavour of the food I was eating. Impressive recycling going on there though, respect to you.

*edit* If you've got clothes on your back, food in your belly, a roof over your head, and people who love you, then your life is rich Very Happy
ocalhoun
You could perhaps ask them to save the flavorings for you, and then no longer need to dig through trash?
Nameless
MOPE TOPIC GO GO GO

RefTest wrote:
And considering you said "latest novel", does that mean you already finished some novels?

I've finished two novels before my current one, but they were (for different reasons) pretty crappy. This one is awesome though, I'd give it at least the absolute smallest possible chance of being looked at by an agent!

Nintendo wrote:
You clearly have a lot of guts and will to be living in such conditions, and that is what matters.

My parents were literally gathering my belongings to throw on the street and I don't have the money to rent anywhere nicer, so it's not like I have a choice.

watersoul wrote:
*edit* If you've got clothes on your back, food in your belly, a roof over your head, and people who love you, then your life is rich Very Happy

Th- three out of four isn't bad, right? D:
ankitdatashn
ocalhoun wrote:
You could perhaps ask them to save the flavorings for you, and then no longer need to dig through trash?


I agree, that would keep you healthy and away from unhygienic situation.
menino
Actually, if you go to see people in the poor parts of the world, you could consider yourself to be king.
What you do in digging from garbage, and utilising food that can otherwise be thrown away (and yet hygeinic), is making wealth out of waste (in a small way).

I can understand your frustration, because as a student, I was also broke many times, and although I had luck and some good friends a lot of times, I still faced being broke and hungry a lot of other times.

Once, me and my friend who were broke, roamed around friends places, and got nothing (it was his idea to pile on). Finally, I saw an orange tree and ate the oranges from that... it was a bit bitter, but edible and lasted us for the next few nights, until we got our salaries from our menial jobs that we were doing at the time.

Still... good luck on your novel, hope it sells.. then this post will also be part of your famed history Smile.

Anyways, don't feel too bad, as a lot of people have to go through hardships at least at some point in their lives. and as watersoul said **edit* If you've got clothes on your back, food in your belly, a roof over your head, and people who love you, then your life is rich. Smile
coolclay
Go for it, my entire senior year of college most of the food I ate I gleaned from dumpster diving. Our local grocery store would throw out tons of veggies, each and every week. If one potato from a 25 lb bag went bad the whole bag got tossed, and bags of lettuce that were outdated and not really even bad. We quite literally made almost every dinner from dumpstered food and we ate like kings!

To read an article I wrote for the newspaper about dumpster diving follow the linkhttp://www.coolclay.info/DumpsterDiving.html.
coolclay
Oh and btw I would rephrase your post and say you reached a new high, recycling, living minimally on our Earth, and being frugal are not negatives, nor are they low points. Just make sure you are eating healthily, if your eating a steady diet of flavored noodles you are extremely malnourished. Grains, and beans are one of the cheapest and best sources of carbs, proteins, and nutrients, and often times cheaper then flavored noodles if you purchase in bulk, or from a co-op.
deanhills
coolclay wrote:
Go for it, my entire senior year of college most of the food I ate I gleaned from dumpster diving. Our local grocery store would throw out tons of veggies, each and every week. If one potato from a 25 lb bag went bad the whole bag got tossed, and bags of lettuce that were outdated and not really even bad. We quite literally made almost every dinner from dumpstered food and we ate like kings!

To read an article I wrote for the newspaper about dumpster diving follow the linkhttp://www.coolclay.info/DumpsterDiving.html.
What an AWESOME article coolclay, I'm completely bowled over by it. I was only going to read one paragraph and then do something else and I could not stop reading it! The dumpster diving you described must teach one loads of self-discipline and I guess you never waste? That really makes me feel very guilty. I don't think I waste too much (although that is probably relative to the eye of the beholder), but I do waste.

I remember when I was living in Vancouver that there was a thriving second hand industry and dumpster diving was alive everywhere. People even put their furniture outside dumpsters as they knew someone would be picking them up for sure. I loved buying clothes from second hand clothing shops as I could find the most interesting clothes that one can't find in the regular stores. I remember I once bought a winter coat imported from Bulgaria no less, and I wore that coat for years. By the time I left and gave it away, it still had life in it. It cost me something silly like 10 US dollars at the time.

Anyway, well done! Guess we have at least two literary geniuses among us here at Frihost. Very Happy
Nintendo
I agree with Deanhills totally. Coolclay, that article really opened my eyes a bit and it was a really good read, also supported by some good facts.

I work in the contract catering business; and I know that there is an INSANE amount of food thrown out and wasted at the end of jobs. Apparently due to legal obligations (health and safety BS), the food cannot be passed on after the job (not even to the clients). It's absolutely ridiculous....

I often feel that a lot less money should be put into things such as the entertainment, sport and other such "conveniances", and invested into methods of sharing resources equally among cultures and races, and recycling waste. You're totally right; society needs to change!
achowles
Well on the bright side you will no doubt find plenty to write about thanks to your time spent in your hole in the wall. I hope my next place isn't a dump like that but I could be relocating soon so we'll have to see.
missdixy
Ah, to be a writer! Very Happy

Don't feel like your life is pathetic -- your life is merely your life and you are doing the best you can. That is admirable, no? The pathetic thing would have been to have that opportunity and let it go to waste!

And yes, dumpster diving can be an awesome thing. I have a couple of friends do that sort of thing all the time.
coolclay
Thanks guys, I really enjoy writing (documentary and science writing mostly), and have been sad that my current job doesn't give me the time to do much (to busy teaching marine science, really rough I know!). But starting this fall I will be doing nothing but writing, because I am starting grad school!

Nintendo- I know the regulations in our country are just ridiculous. I understand the point of keeping people safe and blah, blah, blah, but where do you draw the line of throwing out perfectly good food that could be donated to soup kitchens or other outlets for those in need. That's why even though I don't agree with a lot of there political standpoints Food Not Bombs, is an incredible organization, they take donated and sometimes dumpstered food and prepare it for people in need. There are other local thrift stores that give away day old baked goods from local bakeries. If only more corporations were concerned, and took a stand. Even Trader Joe's who at one time had one of the most lenient dumpster policies, and allowed employees to take home day old things is cracking down.

One thing I saw this winter was a few grocery stores instead of throwing away an entire bag of potatoes and other produce because one went bad they repackaged it and sold it for $1. If that only caught on at other places but everyone else is just worried about the bottom line, and think if people buy the cheap stuff then they'll loose money. Anyway getting off topic....

Nameless your not pathetic your awesome!! PS I want to buy your book
watersoul
Nameless wrote:
watersoul wrote:
*edit* If you've got clothes on your back, food in your belly, a roof over your head, and people who love you, then your life is rich Very Happy

Th- three out of four isn't bad, right? D:


3 out of 4 is always good, it means you're only one away from my shallow concept of being rich.
I remember being so cold as a rough-sleeping runaway 16 year old that I wore all the clothes in my backpack some nights and I was still shivering...but I took comfort that I did have 3 out of my 4, even if it was only under canvas or a derelict building.

I hope your life secretly has 4 out of 4 (in the shadows you're aware of), and it's just hidden by sad conflict or other challenges going on right now. Whatever though, I agree with coolclay, it's not pathetic, and it doesn't help how you at all using descriptive terms such as that. Perhaps consider yourself instead as resourceful, adaptive, flexible, and determined...in difficult times which only you know.
coolclay
Amen!
Tesa323
That sucks hopefully it gets better.
william
Nameless wrote:

watersoul wrote:
*edit* If you've got clothes on your back, food in your belly, a roof over your head, and people who love you, then your life is rich Very Happy

Th- three out of four isn't bad, right? D:


I would be careful. If the one you're missing is clothes on your back you may get in trouble with law enforcement. Wink

Honestly, after reading your post I will have to agree with coolclay. I would call this more of a high than a low. You are being efficient and making good use of what you have. You seem to have adapted well to your situation, a trait many lack. Calling your life pathetic would only be acceptable if you gave up or wasted what you have.

By the way, if your book is anything like your posts, I want to read it.
dan751
@Nameless: My family pulled the same stunts to me when I was living at home 17-19 years of age, all for being in love, no less. My girlfriend and I were living on the streets and park benches summer 2010, we hit rock bottom. We're stable now, however. I really hope that doesn't happen to you. Yes, it's hard, but it's not the end of the world. We have to keep going.
I encourage you to keep your head high and your dreams big. I wish you all the best.

Peace be with you,
~Dan
chasbeen
I can identify with what your going through.
I got out of nowhere limbo land and went into the army.
It was great and I had many adventures.
I stopped being depressed.
You might find you can both be an author and a soldier.

Lives short get out and go for it!
status
dan751 wrote:
@Nameless: My family pulled the same stunts to me when I was living at home 17-19 years of age, all for being in love, no less. My girlfriend and I were living on the streets and park benches summer 2010, we hit rock bottom. We're stable now, however. I really hope that doesn't happen to you. Yes, it's hard, but it's not the end of the world. We have to keep going.
I encourage you to keep your head high and your dreams big. I wish you all the best.

Peace be with you,
~Dan


This is probably one of the most inspirational pieces of writing I have read in a while...
deanhills
status wrote:
dan751 wrote:
@Nameless: My family pulled the same stunts to me when I was living at home 17-19 years of age, all for being in love, no less. My girlfriend and I were living on the streets and park benches summer 2010, we hit rock bottom. We're stable now, however. I really hope that doesn't happen to you. Yes, it's hard, but it's not the end of the world. We have to keep going.
I encourage you to keep your head high and your dreams big. I wish you all the best.

Peace be with you,
~Dan


This is probably one of the most inspirational pieces of writing I have read in a while...
Totally agreed. This guy has a gift for inspiring people. So has Nameless.
Nameless
deanhills wrote:
This guy has a gift for inspiring people. So has Nameless.

Because nothing is more inspiring that picking through a rubbish bin what? Laughing
deanhills
Nameless wrote:
deanhills wrote:
This guy has a gift for inspiring people. So has Nameless.

Because nothing is more inspiring that picking through a rubbish bin what? Laughing
Well, if you look at some of the responses in this thread, you must have sparked off some inspiration.
Very Happy
gh0strec0n_legit
Ya know what, if you're happy then it doesn't matter what the world perceives of you. People with all the money in the world can live the worst lives while homeless men find joy in the simplest things. To me it sounds like you are happy because you are writing a novel which is what you love to do. Your passion for writing supersedes everything else and to me that is great.
ocalhoun
coolclay wrote:

Nintendo- I know the regulations in our country are just ridiculous. I understand the point of keeping people safe and blah, blah, blah, but where do you draw the line of throwing out perfectly good food that could be donated to soup kitchens or other outlets for those in need. That's why even though I don't agree with a lot of there political standpoints Food Not Bombs, is an incredible organization, they take donated and sometimes dumpstered food and prepare it for people in need. There are other local thrift stores that give away day old baked goods from local bakeries. If only more corporations were concerned, and took a stand. Even Trader Joe's who at one time had one of the most lenient dumpster policies, and allowed employees to take home day old things is cracking down.


It's because of the lawsuit-happy society.
When people can sue you -- and win! -- because they got sick eating things from your dumpster, it makes sense to prohibit dumpster diving.
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