Stagnant Reading Habits
When I go to the bookstore these days (even if I don’t have any money), I’m surprised by the fact that I wander the fiction section more often. Normally, I’d just linger around the fantasy/science-fiction bookshelf (even if that bookshelf happens to be extremely wide in the case of Fully Booked Rockwell) and perhaps pass by the children’s section (since fantasy novels tend to stray over there as well). Now, my reading tastes are miraculously expanding, but time remains my nemesis, as there is so much to do, and so little time to read.
One quality I admire in the Chinese is the fact that they’re not afraid of giving money as gifts (the three occasions for giving gifts are birthdays, Christmas, and the New Year).
Honestly, in Western and Filipino culture, there seems to be this taboo of giving money as presents. Perhaps it’s the idea that you’re “buying” or bribing the person. Honestly though, if I wanted to bribe someone, I don’t need money to do it. It could easily be food or favors. For the Chinese though, giving money as a gift is natural. Just make sure they’re sealed in red envelopes.
The thing that I find ironic is that while most Filipinos shy away from giving money as presents, they have no such compulsion when giving gift certificates. I mean one of the reasons why people give gifts is so that the amount spent is not known (hence the practice of tearing out price tags). That’s not the case with gift certificates though. There’s a blaring “500 pesos” or “1000 pesos” indicated on them, and most likely, you spent the same amount of cash to purchase them.
Honestly, unless you got those gift certificates at a discount (or they were gifts to you as well), I’m sure some people would appreciate the cash instead. I mean cash is more flexible (you actually get change for spending in smaller denominations) and they can be used nearly everywhere. Give me real money over Mickey Mouse money any day.
But bookstore gift checks will always be appreciated.
Barely a month old, my new bag effectively died when its strap snapped earlier today. Not that I’m attached to this new bag, especially considering it doesn’t have a zipper and instead has an open hood, making my items easy prey to the weather (and the occasional thief).
Of course I don’t blame the bag for getting ruined. To be fair, I was lugging around something that was effectively more than a third of my body weight (which isn’t much, but still). Me carrying such heavy weights, I was praying that Murphy’s law wouldn’t apply. Unfortunately, only the fact that it didn’t rain was answered.
The bag strap snapped as I was walking from Katipunan, and when I got to the MRT station, there was a line long enough to rival Neil Gaiman’s book signings. At that point, I would have taken a cab if I had the spare cash, so I opted to take the bus instead (the reason why I avoid public transportation is because when I ask for the price of the ride, they usually answer me in Spanish-Filipino, and I can’t count in Spanish-Filipino). The ride was smooth, until we arrived at the usual choke point (namely the Ortigas intersection where La Salle, EDSA, and Robinsons Galleria collide). Heavy luggage in tow, I got off, and walked to various malls to make deliveries.