Expensive Hobbies For My Boujee Sister:
Here’s what quarantining with my sister has been like: Cooped up in our house, boxes and covers of queer things have resurfaced, rousing dust all over the house. So that’s where I decided to tap into for today’s post.
Over the past week, she’s been keeping herself busy with arranging and rearranging her collections. And having seen how extensive it really is (These pictures honestly don’t do it justice) I figured, why not sit down and ‘interview’ this freak. So that’s what we’ve been upto this past weekend and here’s the fruit of it all. Although the framing of sentences are mine, the words, the stories, the experiences of it is all hers.
Karen Abraham: I’m 28 years old. I’m a whisker short of 5 feet and while that may not sound very advantageous, it most certainly is. Down below you’ll find exactly how being small (One of my many charms) has benefited my million hobbies of collecting things that reside in abandoned nooks and corners of your houses and mine.
Before I go any further, I should tell you how I came to be nosy. My maternal grandfather used to have a habit of smoking. That meant he’d go through a lot of cigarette boxes and each of them were different from the last. And so, that’s where the collection craze began. It somehow flowed into his daughter who poured it into my head and here we are, with a bunch of collectibles around our home, waiting to be lifted for a dusting once again.
Have a hobby they said. (So I had about half a million of those.)
1) Numismatics: I told you I was nosy so this should seem like no surprise that my numismatics started when I was but a little kid eyeing my cousins currency collection. After months of eyeing it, at 10 years old, I was given that entire collection trusting that I could take it forward and ever since, I haven’t looked back.
I wriggle into corners of our native (That’s where my height comes in), I unfold dust ridden old notes and bring them back to life, I take all of two seconds to ask a new person which country they’re from and if they have their currency on their person, if you’ve traveled to a new country you’re instantly my best friend and I will look into your wallet. You can tell I’m dangerously close to pick pocketing too.
For PVC free currency sleeves, click the picture below.
2) Philatelic: I told you how my grandfather collected cigarette boxes but once he quit smoking (Bless his soul) when the grand kids started rolling in, the collection too stopped. However, his daughter had picked up on her own collection, stamps.That’s where my stamp collection originates.
My first set of stamps have been handed down by my mother, again trusting I could carry it forward and voila, here we are, 18 years later, with stamps from all over the world. Again, this collection has been fueled by unconventional treasure chests around my native, a couple of similar interest sharing friends and cousins that tore the ends of their letters for me.
3) Phillumeny: If this sounds strange to you, I feel you. I was much like you when I was 11 years old, peering into a packet full of matchboxes in my neighbors house. If I haven’t told you already or if you haven’t picked up, I like patterns, shapes, textures and anything of the sort that you would normally never notice.
What my eye scanned for were the doubles of most matchboxes in that collection. So naturally, I asked for the doubles to build my collection. Although it’s been a little hard to add newer matchboxes to it, it’s a collection I hold dear to my heart. A reminder of the time I began a matchbox collection from out of nowhere.
4) Boarding passes: I’m thinking I might be a hoarder at this point. My first international flight was one full of apprehension and one other thing: it was my first international flight. 7 years from then, I find that I’ve preserved every ticket I’ve ever been issued. Why? Beats me. However, it could probably be my inner collector preventing me for destroying them.
Seeing the 50+ tickets I’ve collected, I regret not collecting all the domestic ones that I did fly. There’s just something about holding a bunch of boarding passes in my hand that I can’t quite put into words, especially now that I’m holed up with a strict ban on travel.
Tips & Tricks:
a) I remember that one time I went to Vietnam and was already on a budget with everything else, but hidden safe in my backpack was a stash of money I had kept ready to shell out for more money.
Looking back, I have a head’s up for any collector that’s just started or wants to start. Once you’re in, if you’re a student, be prepared for a tighter budget now that you gotta spend on money itself.
b) Your natives are your own personal treasure chests. If you’re like me, others natives are also your own treasure chests – just remember to ask before taking.
c) Mine has been more of an artistic approach. However, if you want to collect for monetary value mainly, you might want to collect UNC (Uncirculated) currencies. More value. (More damage to the pocket.)
d) If you’re just starting off, your currencies are better off in photo albums if you can’t invest in proper currency books as yet.
e) While in school, my fellow stamp collectors and I would exchange stamps and in that process I’ve probably lost close to 200 stamps because of how carelessly I’d store them. Paper bags or loose covers aren’t their houses.
f) I’ve heard of a couple of people collecting boarding passes and what I’ve learnt is that the information on them can be used for identity theft and that it’s very important to methodically destroy them. So, unless you don’t want another you on the internet wrecking havoc, watch out for that.
g) Since licking stamps and pasting is not a thing we do so often, here’s where the Government of India has come through for us philatelists. Click here.
My thoughts on my collection:
a) Through collecting I’ve had the opportunity of meeting new people and making new friends. I once had the pleasure of meeting a girl from The Philippines who pulled out a coin in five minutes of knowing me, thus contributing to my numismatic collection
b) Hand me downs are the absolute best.
c) My matchboxes can keep me up at nights. There’s always an irrational (Or a very rational!) fear of them suddenly catching fire and setting the whole house up in flames. Which is why, my parents shifting houses are a literal nightmare when it comes to moving my collection especially when I’m not at home. (WHICH IS ALWAYS!)
d) These hobbies are fast becoming a past as we go forward. Automation might just bring most of my hobbies to a standstill in a matter of years. With the advent of messages being sent a million per second, letters have become a thing of the past. I can no longer run into my neighbors house to see what stamp is at the corner of their letter. Boarding passes may completely become electronic and online payment might not just be amongst the youngsters but just completely throw off the circulation of hard cash.
One miserable moment I had in the recent past was the monetization in India. We went from royal looking currencies to ones that look like they derived inspiration from monopoly. We’ve gone from paper notes to polymer notes. Although polymer notes do last longer, you can fight me on this, paper feels better.
f) I’d just like to end saying- The Thrill Of The Hunt is what keeps me going even today.
Anya: I hope you liked this. This was so fun to compile and hear of the stories I’d never heard before. I knew it took time and effort and a little generous monetary blessings from the family to keep this going but having sat down and brainstormed on how she wanted this post to take form and what she wanted in it, I realized that this kid’s eye for things goes beyond surfaces and walls.
Every time she’d come home for vacation, she’d bring out all these different books and covers and envelopes filled with little bits and pieces and I’ve only just realized, her sitting with a cup of cold coffee she set aside whilst she pours over her stamps or coins or notes was her form of revisiting a childhood she’s lived through stories she holds now of others.
If this called to the inner collector in you or reminded you of the long forgotten collection you have- we’re here to pick it up. We’re also here to exchange (By we, I mean, she.) If you’re from any part of the world and this catches your eye, you can contact us at:
Thanks for reading 🙂
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