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.
As is my habit, I brought back coins and bills from my trip.
I’m now only missing one out of 100 state quarters collected from circulation since 1999 (one for each state and for each of the two mints, the one in Philadelphia and the one in Denver). It was always harder for me to collect Denver coins when I lived in the Southeast and the Northeast, but unsurprisingly, in Denver there were a lot of Denver coins.
I made a bunch of squashed pennies in tourist machines in various places.
I traded with my mom’s friend who we were staying with to get money from Uruguay, Brazil, and several other countries.
I purposely did not go in any used bookstores while I was in the U.S. (though I admit I was tempted). Still, somehow I wound up returning from Denver to Singapore with these 21 used books. I bought them at two thrift stores where I went to buy pants. (Trousers? Whatever.)
These books cost me less than US$23.00 in total. (For the sake of comparison, note that the website of the most prominent bookstore in Singapore, Kinokuniya, lists new copies of the hardcover Four for the equivalent of about US$19.00.)
From a content standpoint, the book I’m most excited about is probably the psychology textbook. From a collecting standpoint, I’m most excited about Wolf Wing and the Percy Jackson books, because they match books I already own.
Both books were written in a tone I found slightly annoying. It was a little too personal and informal. There were many pointed rhetorical questions. I guess I would have preferred a more analytical, objective style.
It’s All Too Much had some useful advice and did inspire me to clean out a few things. The other book convinced me that I should make the effort to buy groceries at the store that’s inconveniently on the other side of a steep flight of stairs and eat at home more often.
On Tuesday last week, I noticed that the LaserFlair at West Coast Plaza had signs up advertising some kind of sale. I bought 15 new DVDs for S$7 or S$10 each. It looked like they were about to clear out their rental DVDs, too, so I resolved to return.
I returned on Thursday. I asked the cashier if the shop would be selling the rental discs. She said yes. I asked if that meant I could buy some right then. She said yes. I asked her how much they were selling them for. She said S$5.
Singapore is not a great place for book bargains. However, I have had some luck with book sales that travel around and set up in shopping mall atriums. (Atria. Happy now, Firefox spellcheck?)
If I were the roadrunner, this would be the perfect trap for the coyote to set up. I would fall right in it.
Now, no doubt I have some books that are pretty useless to me. In fact, you could say that at any given time, all my books except for about three of them are useless to me. Some, like the ones written in Thai, Greek, Korean, Arabic or Burmese, are likely to remain useless to me forever.
Still. Still, I ask you. Of what possible use is a book on ROCKHOUNDING IN IDAHO to anyone in Singapore? I mean, I love rocks—and books, obviously—and I fully understand the notion of armchair travel. And yet. This book. It cannot help me find rocks in Idaho as long as I am physically in Singapore.
Am I right? Seriously, this book is never going to sell…
I mean, for the same money, you’d clearly be better off with Daytrips from Washington, DC.
I admit to a level of interest in the vehicles of Singapore that I cannot easily explain. Arguably the focus of this strange fascination is the fleet of about forty numbered ice trucks belonging to JM Ice, I suppose because the trucks are very distinctive and colorful.
I kind of assume that each JM Ice truck has its own territory (truck 37 seems to hang out in Chinatown). The ones I haven’t seen are probably ones that go to parts of Singapore I’m not usually in. The highest number I’ve seen is 38. Sometimes I get photos, but it’s hard when the trucks are on the move!
Below is a record of the ice trucks I’ve seen (including a couple of trucks belonging to JM Ice’s competitors).