Opportunity Knocks

Somewhere left of the Mississippi I became a thrift store addict.  More often than not I wasn’t able to feed my addiction.  You see, selling your house and living in a van does not allow you to pick up pre-loved furniture to take to varnish rehab.  And don’t even get me started on clothing sizes.  I would so have some cool logo Ts if only I could fill a medium.  Alas I would leave most indoor garage sales for charity empty handed; save the Bellingham, WA Goodwill.  A long sleeve bike jersey and a pair of Lucky jeans are tough to pass up. Nine dollars total.  Of course both were a little too big.

Jill on the other hand can find the goods.  That is not to say she is a large gal, I just think there is a better supply of women’s clothing out there in thrift-dom.  Maybe because men tend to wear things out till they end up in the rag bin rather than the donation box.  Jill’s ability to walk away with cute second hand clothes never ceases to amaze me.  Outside of a pair of jeans or pants in long, she can find about anything.  Heaps of clothes in Bellingham, no problem.  A Cannondale bike jersey in Ft Collins, check.  Coach purse in Bishop, two dollars.  Not to mention all the flash clothes that would come home for the Brannon Crossing Goodwill when we lived in Lexington.  She was an addict before I had my first taste.

Luckily I didn’t kick the second hand habit when we came to New Zealand.  You see the Kiwi’s are resourceful bunch.  You have to be when you are an island nation of about 4 million people spread out over some tricky terrain.  Goods don’t move quite the same as they do in the 24/7 commerce driven society of the States.  I believe its economics, buying power and location but that business minor was a long time ago.  Sure there are plenty of new things available, more than plenty really as this isn’t a third world country.  But it didn’t used to be so easy, or cheap, to get the goods.  And maybe that is why opportunity shops, the New Zealand term for thrift stores, are so popular.  These stores are run by non-profits for about every charity imaginable.    The Red Cross, Salvation Army (Salvos), and the SPCA are the usual suspects.  There are a few for profit resale shops, but their prices are reasonable and they do have some treasures to uncover.

Sure opportunity shops mean an opportunity for that charity they support, but I like to think it means a great opportunity for the buyer too.  That line of thinking is my addiction talking.  An addiction that has allowed us to pick up some cheap clothes and goods that have been floating around the country since before importing from China became the norm.  Some of the clothes even fit me.

So Euro-trash, I love it.  A true op shop find, shoes that are in good shape and fit.

The wood might be a little dark and the handles a little to 70s, but it was made in New Zealand.  This cheese tray was quiet a find at $4.  I’m not sure the knives are original, but they fact that they were included was a nice touch.

My secret desire to be a barista has been revealed through the purchase of this $5 espresso machine.  The carafe was broken and it doesn’t steam too well, but it sure beats paying upwards of $4 for a latte.  Regular, American style, auto-drip coffee makers aren’t the norm here.  Around the house people use plungers, aka French press, for their morning cuppa.  Thanks to this discovery we are able to mix up our method of caffeine intake without dropping coin at the cafes.

An op shop in an old church in Opotiki gave me quite possibly my best thrift store find ever.  Ten dollar tele boots!  Nothing like owning some ski boots when you live on the coast.  Yes they have seen some use and are a wee bit too big, but considering a new pair would run you $800 – $1000 NZD I had to walk away in these.


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