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I read this great post at Pandagon, one of my favorite blogs the other day, and it really got me to thinking about what we consider essential in the area of appliances. I have to admit that my requirements for essential have changed since living in Central America. We have readers from all over the planet here at Padre Mickey's Dance Party, and I'm sure that the answers to the question "What are the things you can't live without?" will be diverse.
So, I'll answer the question first: I need shelter, food, and clean water to survive. I've spent enough time in the Third World where water and power can be quite random, and I've spent time in Bocas del Toro where the water pump for the town has been in-operational for weeks at a time, so that I've had to sleep with my ears listening for rain so that I could run out and place a barrel in the rain. What do I need to maintain my present lifestyle? I gosta have a washing machine, a computer with high speed internet access. I like having a car, but, to tell the truth, I walk to the church so it isn't that important, even though public transit here leaves much to be desired, and the taxis won't go everywhere one wants them to go. I don't have a driver's license right now, as my driver's license must be renewed every time I renew my visa, and my visa is only valid for three months at a time right now. I'm too cheap to pay $30.00 for my visa and an additional $40.00 for my driver's license every three months. The Lovely Mona had to drive to La Boca several days a week while in school, so she renewed everything. I'm lucky that she will drive me around. We use solar power to dry our clothes, but I have to have a washing machine. The first thing we bought with our first pay cheque here in Panamá´was a washer, but we don't need a dryer. I can live without a television as the computer has a DVD drive and, with high-speed internet, there are lots of sites which show tv programs. I don't want cable as I really don't see that much worth watching! I've lived without a dishwasher for ages. Heck, we've lived without hot water in the kitchen sink for three years and haven't had any problems (but we have those scary flash-heaters on the shower heads). We live nine degrees from the equator, so an air conditioner is helpful quite often, but we really only use it when going to bed, and then I turn it off once I wake up from a dream about snow. We have a microwave but rarely use it; we use the toaster oven much more often. As much as I love my iPod, it is malfunctioning at the moment, which reminds me that I survived for 53 years without one. But, Lawdy Lawdy, I gotsta have a coffee maker!!!!
So, what is essential to your lifestyle, and what could you really do without? Please put your answers in the comments.