Trelograms #13 — Nothing Is Broken until It Cannot Be Fixed

The helmet mount for my action camera broke the very first time i tried to use it.

I was in Bendery, Transnistria. A curious bystander who saw me trying to put it back together with super glue referred me to the shop at the street corner — the owner Alex briefly stopped what he was doing to acknowledge my existence, gazed at the broken mount for a couple of seconds, then reached down to a very heavy box overflowing with all shapes and sizes of nuts and bolts — “here — if you can find what you need in there, it’s yours!”

It was clearly implied that Alex is the local repairman — while i browsed the box, several people came in and out of his shop with all shades of appliances for him to inspect and care for.

The helmet mount was neither the first nor the last item in my kit to malfunction — but it appears to have marked the moment when the ‘repair mindset’ kicked in. In my previous life, i worked (by design) more hours than i wanted, for more money than i knew what to do with — getting good gear and replacing it whenever it simply didn’t look quite like what i wanted it to had never been an issue. The decision now was a little more difficult though — i could spend a couple of days worth of my budget for that project getting a replacement for the mount, or i could try to fix it.

From holes in my clothes to the voltage stabilizer for my hub dynamo, upgrading or extending the lifespan of what not very long ago i might have thrown away at worse or surrendered to the expensive care of a specialist at best often turned out to be just a matter of understanding how it works, plus the interested ingenuity of a local.

Who’s wealthier?


got no time or money to travel? — i beg to differ!

I am hard at work on a budget long-term traveling tutorial consolidating all i’ve learned over my past two years on the road — sign up for the Not Mad Yet mailing list, and be among the first to hear about it when it’s out!

You will also get this weekly Trelograms series of inspiring one-minute reads delivered straight to your inbox two days before they’re published here on the blog 🙂

2 thoughts on “Trelograms #13 — Nothing Is Broken until It Cannot Be Fixed

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