You want minimalism? Look elsewhere. I love my stuff. This category includes posts about bills and coins, books (including books in languages I can’t read), rocks and minerals, small little bowls, embroidered patches, and animal figurines.
I now have coins that have a young portrait of the queen on them, coins that have a slightly older portrait of the queen on them, a full set of the current coins, and a handful of coins with special designs.
I collected the current coins, the current bills, a slightly older set of bills, a couple of older coins, a special $10 note, and a squashed penny from The Interislander ferry.
Below is a chart showing when changes were made to New Zealand’s bills and coins. (The change from a yellow line to a green one indicates the switch to decimal currency.)
It seems like every government bank, bureau of printing and engraving, or monetary authority likes to taunt visitors with displays of cancelled bills no longer able to be used as money. Here’s the display at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand:
You won’t see a live kiwi in New Zealand unless you’re a dedicated birdwatcher or you go to a zoo. Unlike kea parrots, seagulls, and ibises, kiwis don’t hang out around humans and swoop down from the air to snatch crumbs from your lunch. They’re nocturnal. Moreover, they can’t swoop.
Nevertheless, tourist shops are overrun with kiwi bird keychains, t-shirts, mugs, shot glasses, paperweights, coasters, playing cards, baseball caps, fridge magnets, and figurines made from plastic, wood, glass, and metal.
Although I like animal figurines, and the kiwi is obviously the iconic New Zealand animal, I refrained from buying a kiwi figurine until I saw this inexpensive, tiny, rubber, made-in-China creature. Perfect.
This bird sculpture was made by Paora Toi-Te-Rangiuaia, a Maori artist whose shop I wandered into on Waiheke Island. He is a jeweler and self-trained sculptor who uses traditional Maori symbols and subjects, and is fascinated with bird and feather forms, which he has reproduced in stone, wood, and various metals. I’m proud to have been able to bring this little bird home with me.
This collection of translations of Bill Watterson’s The Revenge of the Baby- Sat probably got started when I went to Italy in 2002 and chanced upon a copy of the Italian translation.
Undoubtedly I bought the Portuguese one in Portugal in 2004 and the German one in Germany in 2008. My husband fetched me the French one from France at some point or other, having somehow determined that the contents were the same even though the cover was different. A neighbor kindly brought back the Chinese version for me when she went to visit family in Beijing recently.
Seeing Calvin’s words in other languages that use the Roman alphabet is one thing; seeing them in Chinese characters is quite strange.
Below are images of the six different book covers: French, Italian, Portuguese, German, English, and Chinese.
There are translations available in other languages, including Spanish (ISBN 9786075271170), Dutch (ISBN 97890542562), and Czech (ISBN 9788074490798), as well…