Fri. May 28, 2021 – schooooool’s out for suuuuuummmmer…..

Possibility of rain here in the Bayou city, but otherwise, the same as yesterday, hot and humid, with some sun.

Did a bunch of stuff yesterday, some of it moving my goals along. I’ve found that my auctioneers are very busy and the best way to get them to talk with me and do things for me is to talk to them in person by showing up at their office. Most of them treat their phones like you’d treat a rattlesnake, something I’m seeing in more and more people. Meatspace is becoming increasingly important.

One of the lots I picked up was a bunch of medical supplies. They had hand written unit designations that made it look like an army medic took his bag with him when he went home. Of course most of it is probably out of date but that doesn’t worry me much, it’s stuff that would only be used in extremis anyway, or stuff that doesn’t age out. There are some interesting things out there, if you are lucky and paying attention. Hibid.com is nationwide and is the platform that most of the auctions I patronize are listed on, if you want to check out the ‘scene’.

I’m a big fan of the ‘secondary’ market and believe that it’s the future, at least for a while yet. Retail and the way people acquire goods and services are going through a change, along with everything else in our day to day lives. Part of that change is the rise of resellers, and person to person selling. It’s actually a bit worrying for me, as one common element of life in any third world shitehole is the proliferation of street vendors and unofficial marketplaces. I see it growing in the areas around my neighborhood, I see it around my secondary location. Not a good sign in my estimation. (Flip the script- can YOU become one of those vendors? You might have to if things degrade that much.)

You may want to get some practice in the new marketplace, just like you need practice in any endeavor. Observe, pay attention, do what the others there already are doing. Do they haggle? Do they expect some chat in addition to the transaction? Do they expect a bag or box for their purchases? Is cash king? (it may not be, there are a lot of phone based person to person payment systems, and the “unbanked” seem to be using them.) One other thing, are the buyers using coins? I’d argue that if they are, you should be too, otherwise you’ll be marked as “rich” because you aren’t counting every penny.

As an aside, I’ve noticed that in some cultures, the females will be doing the shopping, handling the money, but there is a watchful male with them. He’s really in charge, but apparently can’t be bothered to actually do the ‘little things’. I hate seeing that for cultural reasons, or rather, the destruction of OUR culture reasons. If you’re male, and you are in that sort of a marketplace, you are going to stand out if you don’t have a female to do those things for you. (and yes, I’m talking about the US, in thrift stores, the Goodwill Outlet, and swapmeets and yard sales. We are losing.)

During conflicts the ‘outsider’ is always suspect. Start paying attention and realize that you might be the outsider, even in your own home town. How do you dress, move, comport yourself? It may be to your advantage to be obviously ‘foreign’ as people won’t expect you to know the unwritten rules, as long as things are ‘normal’. But if the mood shifts, or violence is in the offing, you want to disappear, blend, fade to grey. Pay attention now. Start learning** while it’s not a matter of life or death.*

And build up those stacks, so you don’t have to venture into danger unnecessarily.

nick

(* equally true for rural or city areas that are nominally part of our culture. You show up at the Quik E Mart in rural America with a problem, and you will get a lot more help if you are “might be one of us” rather than “f’ing rich city boy”, and the same is true in NYFC. You should be able to fit in enough that you are in the ‘provisionally not a threat/outsider/unknown’ category rather than ‘you’re not from around here are you, boy?’*)

(** for practice, there are usually farmer’s markets on weekends, and there are always ethnic stores, even quite large grocery stores. Every city has a swap meet, maybe only one weekend a month, but usually every weekend. You’ll know if you venture too far off the beaten path. The interrupted conversations, the guarded looks, the people who suddenly leave are all good indicators that you are recognized as an outsider and a (possibly dangerous) unknown***. There are a different set of markers when you are recognized as an outsider and you are tagged as “prey”. In that case, you don’t want to stick around, and it would be a great time to have a reason for being there, like “Can I speak to the owner? I’m from the local agency and we’re doing outreach with local businesses… oh, he’s not here?? Thanks, I’ll check back later.”**)

(***for examples, you can watch xiaomaNYC on youtube, and pay attention when he goes into an area or a business where he sticks out, and then note the change when he gives them a REASON why he’s there “I’m learning pashtun and I am out practicing my speaking skills”.***)