Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The World In Your Living Room

It was a Saturday afternoon just like any other. Having just returned from a foreign assignment, I was devoid of civilization--and like many Saturday's in my home town, there wasn't much to do. So being the geek that I am, I ventured into the nearest electronic store to see what new gadgets I could find.

Walking aisle by aisle, I skimmed every product with a fine-toothed comb. Many things caught my eye, but looking at the price tag made me lose focus. Too many zero's, not enough decimals. So I kept walking.

Large screen TV's always catch my attention. The way moving images danced on it's glossy screens made everything so real--almost touchable. Standing in front of one--for a second, I thought I was some place else. The video played seamlessly smooth with music thumping to the psychedelic beat of an under ground night club I'd be afraid to be in. Surround sound speakers made me lost, confused--wondering where the hell all that sound was coming from. It was amazing--yet at the same time scary.

It didn't take long for a salesman to notice my disoriented look. He asked if I was "interested." To which I replied, "huh?"

And before I could even gather my thoughts, he started spewing out facts and figures I had never heard before. In one ear, out the other. So I just stood there and smiled.

Ten minutes later he starts selling me an extended warranty plan on something I never said I was going to buy. And just when I thought he was going to shut up, he says, "But THAT'S NOT ALL...if you buy this whole system today, I'll throw in a special edition Travel DVD that has all the countries covered! You'd never have to leave home...heck, it's like having the world in your living room!"

I laughed and walked out.

Driving home, I couldn't help but wonder how many people have fallen for this deal. For the price it cost to own that system I could probably trek through all of South East Asia, venture through the Himalaya's and through to Europe.

It's funny, I get people telling me all the time how lucky I am to travel and how they wouldn't be able to do it. But at the same time, they wouldn't have a second thought about spending $8000 (U.S) on an entertainment system so they can sit and have the world brought to them instead of going to it.

A waste of money, if you ask me.


Katherine said...

I couldn't agree with you more! I want to go out see, taste, feel & explore this beautiful & as you have brought so vividly to our attention in your blog... real world!

Vera said...

Absolutely, Ron! It is a waste of money. Not only that but it makes people lazy. I know this for a fact because we had one of those huge TV screens in the UK. Had it for a year. Then with great relief left it behind for the people who bought the house. We don't have a TV here.
I am not particularly wanting to go global travelling, but I have got back my freedom of self by not having a TV.

Deboshree said...

I agree!!

frost said...

That's so true!
I purchased some new pieces of furniture this week. I've been postponing it for several years because I kept thinking how far I could travel with that money.
Finally I admitted that I really needed to have more decent furniture - after all, I can't travel all the time but have to be able to enjoy staying at home most of the time.

But it still echoes in my head... I could have travelled to the faraway places with that money..

Lorna said...

I agree; though it does take a measure of courage to walk through foreign ports rather than engage in armchair traveling...and I really miss having that courageous spirit. But I am a HUGE Sam Brown/Anthony Bourdain fan! (as if that helps do anything but increase my longing to GO! somewhere, anywhere, lol)

Ava said...

I'm glad to tell that when I was 20-something, I spent ALL my savings for a trip to Jordan, Egypt, Greece, Israel & Turkey; while many girls would rather spend the same amount of money on diamond earings :D

chemist said...


All I can says is ..... AMEN!! Although I may hate the plane flight to wherever (not being able to sleep on jets while in flight makes me tired upon arrival!), when I get to where I'm going I just love the new horizons, people, culture, experiences, etc that I so often encounter in all those faraway places I travel to ... with my camera in tow! Keep up the great work and happy traveling!

Traveling Chemist

Linda Chakmak said...

The next time you're in your home town with nothing to do, give Mr. Garlick and me a call and come on over for a visit!