Awesome concept, bike sharing ❤

Where I live now, in the guest house here in Japan, we have a table in the hallway called ‘The Free Take Table”, and you can put whatever things you don’t need or want there for others to take for free. I LOVE that table, it’s sooo useful! I’ve found many many things there that I’ve had use for, and I’ve put many things there that I didn’t have use for.

On of the first evenings here when I was new to the guest house, didn’t know much of the language or where to find anything, I had a slight problem: I didn’t have any lens fluid for my contacts, and I didn’t know where to get it. Since I was travelling with only hand luggage, I wasn’t allowed to bring larger quantities of fluids with me (who knows what kind of bombs you can make from lens fluid!?), so I only brought my lens case filled up.

And then I walk by the free take table and… YEAH! There’s a half full bottle of lens fluid, standing there, because someone recently moved out and apparently didn’t need it anymore! That is so fantastic. Instead of just throwing it away, you give it to someone else.

But the title says ‘borrowing‘, right? There are different kinds of borrowing. Short term and long term (and probably other types as well), and the awesome thing about this place is both of them. I’ve long time borrowed some pillows, a back support I can have in my bed to transform it into a comfortable chair, a laundry box, clothes etc. And when I’m moving out here, I’ll just put them back for others to take. And also sometimes when I’ve been in need of a specific tool, like a cutter to cut the strings after restringing my guitar, I’ve found one on the table. I just borrow it, cut the strings and put it back. It’s not like I restring my guitar all the time, so I don’t really need it forever. People who live here also have different hobbies and jobs. One guy is a carpenter and another one likes electronics, so if I need to borrow tools, I can just ask the carpenter, and if I need adapters or cables, I can just ask the other guy. It’s really handy!

The problem with borrowing is finding people to borrow from. I have a huge advantage since I’m living in a guest house and meet people daily when I have breakfast or dinner or when I’m just hanging out in the kitchen. That’s where the thing I’ve been reading about so much lately come in: Community. I was kind  of not interested when I first read about in in different blogs, but I’ve come to realize the importance of it. It’s a way to make new friends, to be able to borrow things without having to buy something new for money everytime you need it, and then store it away in your house when you’re not using it. And it’s a great practice for social skills, which I think many people need practice in : )

It’s kind of sad that mostly we live door to door with people we never meet or talk to, and mostly don’t have any relations to our neighbors, that thing kind of disappear after you stop being a student. I will really miss having the opportunity in living in a place like this when/if I move back to Sweden. I have a feeling I will feel lonely if I live in an apartment alone.

Summary of borrowing:
– You save money
– You can get hold of things fast
– You can make other people happy
– You save space
– You can make friends
– It supports creating community

Do you have any good ideas of how to create community, or better relations to our neighbors? Feel free to post them! Do you have any awesome experiences of borrowing or lending? Post them too! : )

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