7.6.09

the more (you keep) the merrier


100yen to store the world. All images by J

The impulse to acquire starts with the fear of having nothing, but the impulse to collect becomes the fear of not having everything.

Barbara Flanagan wrote an interesting article "To have and to hold" in last month's I.D. magazine observing the creativity and energy - particularly that of America - that goes into designing storage solutions. From the 20cm long tupperware to the 20foot wide shipping container, she reminds readers that what started as the go-west pioneers' need to stockpile for winters and that rainy day, eventually became a suburban romance of self-sufficiency in the 1950s and today's enslavement to acquiring things that are desired but not needed:
New items categories of acquisition demanded new storage concepts, as items from the outside world moved inside: contractor-grade power tools, gym-quality exercise equipment, commercial kitchen appliances, hotel-scale furniture, and theme park-like lawn inflatables for Christmas.
In fact, the design of bigger and more efficient "containers" encouraged more acquisition.

But I have no complaints about one of the largest storage solutions humans have sustained - the water reservoir.



Last Friday, craving for roti prata, J and I decided to take a few hours off work for a midday cycle from our flat, across, Braddell Road through the parks of Bishan to Upper Thomson Road. From there, it's a slight incline past the Lower Pierce Reservoir (phew, no monkeys by the roadside!) to the Casurarina Road prata house where we loaded up on carbohydrates.

Perhaps seized by a post-lunch guilt, we decided to take our bicycles down the Old Upper Thomson Road to Upper Pierce Reservoir. It was a 20minute cycle, but on that long, windy and hilly road (oh, the return journey would be breeze) where we were occasionally overtaken by black cars of the European variety and distracted by two large black-and-turquoise butterflies, 20 minutes sometimes felt like eternity. Once there, it is difficult to leave the shade of trees and the sight of the surrounding nature reserve (yes, ignore the visible edge of a golf course) intercepting the seemingly endless body of water.

So friends, if you have the chance to take a morning or afternoon off on a weekday, amps recommend that you make your way slowly along Old Upper Thomson Road to the Upper Pierce Reservoir. The experience may convince you to adopt Barbara Flanagan's "owning less, but living larger".

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p/s If you do make it there, remember: DO NOT FEED THE MONSTERS MONKEYS. Nature provides well for them.

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