Friday, 1 October 2010

Day 1: I Knew I Could Find a “Home Depot” to Buy Wood for My Bookcase

While I was living on the East Coast of the United States, I was the subletee of a studio apartment in New York City. It was completely furnished except for a coffee table. Though I could find cheap coffee tables on Craigslist, I could not find anyone that was available to help me carry it. Thus, I built one and could easily carry it part by part on the subway.

Now here in Cameroon, I decided it would be an adventure to try making my own bookcase after designing my other furniture through a carpenter. So after trying to buy wood from a carpenter, he directed me to the “Depot de Bois” (literally Depot of Wood) a.k.a. Home Depot!

No, I didn’t take measurements. I just figured I’d eyeball it. So, after a VSLA meeting, fellow PCV Jessie Warning and I just asked for the cheapest wood and pointed at how big each piece of wood should be. Supposedly, we could only buy a big whole piece of wood and then they would cut it into smaller pieces. He wanted 5,000CFA ($10US) for the smallest piece of wood and after more haggling, we went to a second warehouse and found ourselves a better piece of wood for 4,000CFA ($8US). That’s 2,500CFA for the wood and 1,500CFA just to cut it – what a rip just to cut wood!

Depot de Bois a.k.a. Home Depot

Thank goodness I had somebody else to help me take the wood pieces! I’m really thankful that we didn’t knock out any unwitting passerbys with our wood sticking out on the moto.

After 1.5 hours (well, maybe 2), the frame of my bookcase was good to go and strong! Now I just need to varnish it…

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