Redundant, Yet I Can't Get Rid of Them | WE #141

in WEEKEND EXPERIENCES7 months ago (edited)

The past, whether it comes as memories or artifacts, has a certain addictive power on us.

This is my entry to @galenkp’s Weekend Engagement #141. I picked the first topic:


Name three things, (items or services) that have become redundant in modern society but you miss having around. Tell us what you miss about them and why.



The past, whether it comes in memories or artifacts, has a certain addictive power on us. We develop attachments that go beyond the utilitarian value of things. They become decorative mementos, memory triggers, time capsules, or even deadly secrets. I usually try to get rid of things that no longer have value or practical use. Not so much because I reject the past, but because of lack of space to organized that past. I used to be a collector as a kid (stamps, coins, match boxes, phone cards), but I can’t afford collecting anything these days.

In Venezuela, probably more than in most countries in the world, things can easily become obsolete or redundant. Technology and services can easily get stagnated and lack of resources to renovate them turn them into relics pretty fast.

Here’s my short list of things I miss and still unexplainably keep:


Coins/Pay Phones

Our currency used to be very strong; usually around 4,3 Bolivars per dollar. After three major reconversions and 14 ceros less, the value of any of our coins is just symbolic. They had already become useless when pay phones disappeared, and even though they were later substituted by card phones, the emergence of the cell phone as a more private form of distant communication, made the use of public phones just unnecessarily cumbersome.


That being said, I really miss the old good days of coins and pay phones. I have so many important sad and happy memories of events that unraveled thanks to a coin and a payphone! Coins also take me back to the times grownups gave you little moneys for you to get snacks, go to movies, or buy a toy or comic book you wanted. It was so grant to see the adult hand casually entering the pocket or purse and pulling out a tiny metallic circle of joy. It was like a reverse fountain of wishes.


I bought mine in 2001 when I was in the States studying. I always wanted one. Having a video camera was such a magical thing. To be able to record your life and that of your loved ones, to capture moments that were the closest we could get to the actual living of the events was for me a family duty. I have always lamented that I have no images of most of my grandparents. I would have loved to see images of my young parents, for instance. I saw as my duty to record my children in every moment I could, so that they had a more tangible history to go back to.


I did that to the best of my abilities. It was very exciting to transfer the little tape record into the TV, make copies to VHS tapes to send home, and watch old tapes after some years had passed. I know it was exciting for my family to get the tapes delivered by the mailman (One service that was also in my list and which I miss very much), run to the player and watch something that had happened days or weeks ago, but which for them was like a live streaming that made them be there with us.

Then, smart phones came and the non-professional video cameras became obsolete. Mine is still intact, except for the spider webs, but I have no use for it anymore. I can’t dump it either.


It was so much fun to go to the music or video store to get the latest CD or movie! You could listen to the music on the radio, but having the disc had a very special meaning. The physical object carried an additional link, a special sense of ownership; it actually existed in your hands. You could smell them, fell the textures, hear the crispy sound of wrappers and cases. It was a sensorial experience.

With movies it was very practical to rent at the video store and not to have to accumulate many tapes of later DVDs at home.


I recently got rid of more than 500 pieces, probably, but I still have some that for reasons I can’t understand, I can't just throw away. I don’t even have a device to play them (my computer disc unit is not working), and I could download the movies, audio books, or music, but then storage limits in our computers or phones offer new challenges and problems.

On the bright side, I guess modern technology is helping us not to get too attached to material things. More and more things become digital or virtual every day and that can be a very practical thing. There will come a generation that will know very little about objects, artifacts and memories as we still know them. Whether that will make them better or happier remains to be seen.

Thanks for stopping by


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Hello sir @hlezama. greeting from Indonesia. Well, the three things you mentioned above are really nostalgic. For some reason, when you use coins on a public phone just to call my lover, as soon as you finish you see a lot of people stand up behind you. Likewise, the camera recorder that I first got for free back then when I was a humanitarian volunteer was the first time I captured moments and learned photography, Thank you for remembering me. Blessing

Thanks for stopping by, @elchaleefatoe15
Now you made me remember a part I had forgotten about calling from a pay phone: the lines. It was very embarrassing when the conversation was about intimate matters and people did not hide their desire to get the whole story. Also, there were fights when one's call went for too long and someone in line was ina hurry. 😂

Letting go of many pieces that hold good memories always hard, most would still be going if not for technology moving forward, they served us well.

Oh new may be more convenient, it simply does not last! Built to break straight after warranty is over, planned obsolescence. No wonder young generation have no idea what looking after something is, after all some things we had could last a long time.


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That's a great point. Most devices and appliances at home lasted decades. Some of them without ever demanding major repairs. Artifacts were past from one generation to the next.
I think that planned obsolescence affects even human relations now.
Thanks for the luv and the pizza.
Hope you're doing well

I still have my fathers hand held equipment that latches onto table top for mincing and a grating machine, both still in use with electricity outages, 50+ years on no breakage !LOLZ

Take care and hopefully we will be allowed to slow down sometime!

How do you make a cheese puff?
Chase it around the block.

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You mean one of this crank mills?
Those were the KitchenAids of our grandmas. Then, they became popular again after the blackouts and when processed corn products became scarce or too expensive.

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It's funny because in the streets you can see people selling ground coffee, for instance, and they made adaptation to the mill to make it electric.

Very similar to this, I have a couple I never let go of! Included in the cupboard are 70 year old pots and pans in cast iron still in regular use!

I'm not a Grandma..., I do appreciate the long life these implements offer, including old whistling kettles, egg times and gadgets most would not recognize in this day and age !LOLZ

A man tried to sell me a coffin today.
I told him that's the last thing I need.

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I gifted $PIZZA slices here:
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No habia reflexionado al respecto, pero es cierto. Tantas cosas han cambiado tan rápido... ¿Sabes que extraño yo, que jamás extrañarán los que tienen menos de 20 años? (Al menos en Venezuela, no sé cómo funciona en el resto del mundo) Los periódicos impresos. En casa se compraba El Universal o El Nacional cada domingo y algún otro entre semana. Mi hermano y yo nos peleabamos por la página de caricaturas y mi abuela se adueñaba de la revista.
El abuelo los acumulaba en una enorme pila y otra de revistas dominicales, que después usaba para diversas cosas en la casa. Ahora ya no hay ni con qué envolver un aguacate para que madure más rápido...

Ciertamente! Se me había pasado los periódicos. Bueno,aún en muchos países circulan en físico, pero están condenados a desaparecer. Aquí le aceleramos el proceso a fuerza de censura y expropiaciones.
Yo también tengo gratísimos recuerdos de los periódicos. Viendo a mi papá leerlos le agarré el gusto. Llegué a comprar 4 o cinco diferentes, especialmente los domingos.
Era una época fantástica, sin duda. Pocos jóvenes ahorita verían placer en semejante actividad formativa y de entretenimiento.

Indeed! I forgot about the newspapers. Well, in many countries they still circulate in physical form, but they are doomed to disappear. Here we sped up the process by force of censorship and expropriations.
I also have very fond memories of newspapers. Watching my dad read them, I got a taste for them. I would buy four or five different newspapers, especially on Sundays.
It was a fantastic time, no doubt. Few young people today would find pleasure in such an educational and entertaining activity.

I think that public telephones should continue to exist, because these are landlines and sometimes cell phone signals may not work. I miss it, when I was studying at school and for some reason I left early I used the public telephone that was nacross the street to call my dad at home and ask him to pick me up. I miss those days so much

That's a great point. We have put all our eggs in a single basket (digital technology); if that fails we're screwed.
It happens so often that someone in the street runs out of battery, or have their smart phone stolen or out of service, needs to call someone urgently and has to borrow a phone (which now in Venezuela is hard to do because people don't trust strangers asking for their phones). Here's where public phones come handy.