Thursday, 19 May 2011

One man's trash...

One of my favorite things to do on a sunny, summer Saturday morning is to check out the local garage sales for hidden treasures. There is something so redemptive about being able to take something old, used and battered and find a new purpose for it. That's why I love shopping at used stores; there is always something just waiting to be discovered and given a new lease on life.

So it surprised me when I came to Brasil and couldn't easily find a used store. It was about a year and a half before my mother-in-law's hairdresser mentioned a used household store just down the road from their apartment. It is now almost a bi-weekly stop for me as I walk back from my Portuguese class. The name for this kind of store in Portuguese is "brechó" and now that I've learned that word, I've already seen two stores in our city.

We managed to furnish half our house with furniture found at used furniture stores, and considering that we're not planning to have it forever and we have kids, why bother investing in expensive stuff that will be "used" the minute you set it up at home? The "things" that make you happy are really not "things" at all. It's the experience of shopping with your hubby for your own house; it's the thrill of finding that "perfect" piece that you weren't even looking for; it's the story behind the wood and metal, it's teaching your kids that what really matters is people, relationships and connection and that happiness is not about having new things or filling your life with stuff.

Last weekend we went to a school's annual community sale, where teachers have an opportunity to sell things (we don't have garage sales here) and we had a great time as a family. We pushed through the crowds, enjoyed a snack, and came away with a few treasures.

As we were driving back home, I saw this graffiti on the street and it is just perfect for this post. It's the saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure" in Portuguese.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Dear Tati:
    You write SO WELL, and with great content!
    Dad Portela

  2. Dear Taara, you come from a line of proud "reuse, recycle, restore" women in the Dyck family, so it's no wonder you love the thrill of finding "treasure" in someone else's trash. I can totally identify with you on this post. I also agree with David's dad when he says you write well.
    Love, Aunt Barb

  3. What can i say ... a woman after her mom's heart! If we do get something totally "new", it's often the reward for having done something to earn it, a story to tell about it, and, for us, often it comes from a foreign country :-)

  4. Why buy new? I'm the same way! It MUST be part of our heritage!


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