Monday, June 18, 2012
Money Money Money
Have I mentioned how much I love money?
I don't mean in the sense of money being a tool to obtain food, shelter, clothing, and - if you're lucky - pretty things to admire.
What I am referring to is the weight of coins; the crinkle of notes. Germophobes will disagree with me, but instead of worrying about the dirt on money, I tend to wonder about the other lives that have been touched briefly by the same coins or notes that pass into my possession.
People sometimes say, if these walls could talk. Well, I'm pretty sure that the average piece of currency must have witnessed a great story or three... or at least overheard some - through their owners' purses, wallets, and pockets.
My one burst of doing something useful today was strictly reserved for packing. Today's target was a large bookcase, and the first thing I pulled down was a wooden box. It was a gift from a friend when J and I got married in London. Needless to say - as with our cat and dragon - this box has been around.
I opened it slowly - like the treasure box it is - and was a little sad to realise that the contents were still safely wrapped in butcher's paper from when we moved to LA, more than two years ago. Somehow, I'd happily put the box on the display, but never gotten around to freeing the contents inside.
The treasure inside consisted mostly of money that I'd collected during my globetrotting days - leftover coins and notes, most of them too pretty to let go of. I never really bought souvenirs. My mementos are basically photos; coins and notes; and used ticket stubs from various foreign public transport systems (okay, that last collection makes me sound like a hoarder, but to this day I use them as bookmarks and have even - in a crafty fit - made a collaged canvas with them).
Today, I had fun letting the coins trickle through my fingers, pirate-style. I tried to straighten some of the more crumpled notes, and admired their colours. I showed the money to the Faery, and talked about which countries they came from. She was immediately drawn to a Swedish hundred kronor note - an observation that wasn't lost on me, given the Scandinavian name she has.
What I love most about foreign notes are the different colours. I have to say (a couple of years into using it) that American money is dull. I miss being able to tell - at a glance - exactly what denominations are in my purse. If I'm distracted, it is too easy to hand over the wrong note. Maybe it's just me being a ditz, though.
Best of all, I found an extra special treasure in the box that I'd been thinking of lately, and wasn't sure which 'safe' place I'd tucked it into. A treasure which could not be bought for all the colourful money in the world... but it deserves a post of it's own, so I'll save that for another day.