Wednesday, August 12

White elephants

White elephants were considered a symbol of status to certain individuals in some Asia countries like Thailand. But the high cost of upkeeping the white elephant (not just cash, but also the space of keeping it) makes some wonder whether it is really worth having one.

And that's how the term is coined.

According to Wikepdia, a white elephant is a valuable possession of which its owner cannot dispose and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) is out of proportion to its usefulness.

I'm sure we have all spent money on something that we thought will be really useful, only to have it talking up space in the house, or stored in that insignificant part of your storeroom.

Some time back, when I was living in the house of my in-laws, my Wifey bought a exercise bicycle. The idea was that exercise bikes will help us to sweat in the comfort of our own homes. You can't jog when it's raining outside. And you can watch TV while on the exercise bicycle. But after the novelty has gone, the exercise bicycle became a white elephant in the house. It was taking up a significant amount of space in the house, and no one had the discipline to use it. After all, who needs to exercise when there's so much stuffs to do at home? TV, Internet, mahjong etc...

My Wifey has a Chinese guzheng (yes, my Wifey can play it) which is taking up space in my current spare room. It's kind of displayed there because if you don't display it, you won't play it. I guess the inverse is also true.

I had my fair share of white elephants, which I bought probably at the spur of the moment.

There's the professional juggling balls, which do not take up alot of space, but cost me a bomb (because these are "professional" balls). I should really pick up juggling someday to entertain the kids.

And then there's the classical music CD collection which I bought and hardly listen to after I realise that I can only relate to the more popular (and catchy) tunes from Tchaikovsky and Vivaldi.

Maybe it's time to polish some of those white elephants and pass them off as birthday gifts. =p

So what are the notable white elephants that you have at home?

10 comments:

wrathofnino said...

I have a dust-collecting treadmill in my home... white elephants! LOL! cool post Shingo! :)

Roxy. said...

Woah, so many posts to read. (:
Yes, i have a playstation that i no longer used. But hmmm, i guess it is because technology has advanced so much.
Few white elephants in my house probably because i dun have the money to spent on so many things. :p

Mei Teng said...

Haha..pass them on as birthday gifts? ;)

I do have some white elephants at home too. Maybe it's time to pack and give away to charity or those who may have use of them.

Josephine said...

my dear got one...
Ogawa's massage chair...

HappySurfer said...

OMG! and I was thinking of getting an exercise bike. I better give it more thought. Do bowling balls count? For ladies, I suppose clothes and accessories (even shoes) make up a big part of the white elephant syndrome.

Plankton McPlank said...

Pretty sure my bed could be considered a waste of space since I fall asleep at the desk all the time. The damn IE takes a lifetime to load. I am grieved.

Cherish Tulips said...

Hubby and I are guilty of rearing a white elephant too...too many of them actually.One which is now residing in our living hall becoz it's bulky is the threadmill..I used it about maybe more than 5 times..after that,lost the interest.Maybe it'll come handy after my delivery..

numbernine said...

Yor crassical correction very interesting.

foongpc said...

Oh, you listen to classical music? I love classical music!!

If they are white elephants to you, please pass them to me : )

I have my share of white elephants too. In fact, too many to name! Thinking of giving them away as gifts! or maybe we can exchange our white elephants? What is junk to you might be treasure to others! : )

Oh, another option is to sell them off on e-bay. May just make a bit of $$$. Better than collecting dust and taking up space in your house, right?

Shingo T said...

Nino:
For someone who is into exercise, I am surprised your treadmill is collecting dust.

Roxy:
Time to hold a contest on your website, with the prize being a Playstation. State that the prize doesn't come with delivery.

Mei Teng:
Your white elephant can be someone else's treasure. Christmas comes in 4 months time.

Josephine:
How about sending the massage chair to one of your parents/grandparents?

HappySurfer:
Forget the exercise bike. Ladies are better off beautifying the environment by running around for man to appreciate. ^_^
Haha, my Wifey has plenty of clothes too. And I can easily point a huge bunch that has not been worn for the past century.

Plankton:
IE was slow because the underground cable wire was damaged by typhoon. My company was affected too.
I had no bed when I was still single. I thought the floor was cooler. =p

Cherish Tulip:
Malaysia houses are bigger. Having a treadmill in my humble flat in Singapore will probably take up 20%of the living room.

Numbernine:
My classical CDs are collecting dust in my parent's house. But most of the songs are the more popular symphonies, there's a good chance you have them.

foongpc:
I used to listen to classical music. I thought it will make me more classy. =p Ok, it didn't.
E-bay is a good idea, provided the price of the "junks" justify the effort.

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