Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Only a bit obsessed

When I first came to Thailand I couldn’t find elastic bands anywhere. I hunted in stationery shops, ironmongery shops, anywhere I thought there might be a chance of finding them. I knew perfectly well that these canny fasteners were available as most of the street food is sold in plastic bags, secured with elastic bands but could I find out where to buy them? Nope. Eventually a year or two ago I noticed novelty elastic bands appearing in funky stationery shops; call me boring but I wanted utilitarian not poncy.

Hair grips were also a problem; Daughter occasionally needs hair grips to put her hair up in a bun. I scanned the beauty departments, markets, chemists, supermarkets; hair clips, ties and bows? Yep: EVERYWHERE. Hair grips? Was it some kind of conspiracy?

It was the same thing with safety pins and blotting paper. I even went into the Mont Blanc pen shop and asked. I described how to prevent your ink from smudging after you’ve written with your beautiful ink pen. No; clearly I was from Mars. In the end I was so traumatised that my sister in law purchased blotting paper in Bath, England, and sent it to me. And I bought wholesale sized cartons of elastic bands, hair grips and safety pins when I was in the UK. Sod’s law is that now I see hair grips everywhere.

Today, I’m obsessing over treasury tags. I need them. I may not be able to write and carve up my first draft without them. I’m going out, armed with a picture to see if I can locate them.

I might be some time.

Procrastinating? Me?

11 comments:

Carol said...

I'm now slightly worried about you!! I never had a problem buying elastic bands or hair grips....

(Never tried looking for the other ones..but give me a shout if you don't find them and I'll post you some!)

C x

JJ Beattie said...

Carol, whatever do you mean by 'I'm now...?' You've always been worried about me.

*SHOUTS* Carol, I need treasury tags! Please can you send me some? JJx

Karen said...

Ooh treasury tags - I need some of those, couldn't remember what they were called! Good hunting :o)

LilyS said...

I love those elastic bands although i would never need them. They seem to litter my desk at work and I never use them! good luck with the hunt!

JJ Beattie said...

Karen, treasury tags are good; stationery is good.

Lily, aren't they fab? I like them too but only for decoration and not for using...

Leigh Russell said...

I remember hunting abroad for hair bands, you know the small ones to tie your hair into a ponytail... but perhaps the most embarrassing hunt was closer to home when I sent my poor husband out to buy 'big knickers' after I had a caesarian. He was under strict instructions that the knickers had to reach at least up to my waist and had to ask a shop assistant for help, bless him. That was many years ago... Nowadays, a shop assistant would probably suspect a Bridget Jones obsession...

pierre l said...

I may be ignorant, but I'd never heard of "treasury tags" until I came to the UK 30 years ago. So your best bet might be to get someone to buy some here and send them over (I am prepared to offer).

JJ Beattie said...

Leigh, oh the things we send our husbands out for after having babies! Mine weren't big knickers, but were equally ewugh.

Pierre, that is so very sweet of you. Thank you for offering but my sister in law has also volunteered! I think treasury tags are perhaps uniquely British.

Angie said...

Hmm, I've never seen or heard of treasure tags, but now I'm curious...what do you use them for?

pierre l said...

@Angie "Treasury Tags" are a way of loosely attaching pieces of paper. In North America, I have seen screw-posts used to do a similar (but less flexible) job.
I have visions of the tax-man ("The Treasury") receiving a pile of receipts with my tax return, making one hole in the top left-hand corner and fastening them together with a Treasury Tag. It is easier to handle the sheets than if you staple them together.
I am sure there would be a world-wide market for them if only they were know outide the UK.

Angie said...

Thanks, Pierre. :) I'm familiar with the little metal ones, but those sound intriguing!