I like my piece of crap.

I’ve been wanting a bracelet and necklace for a long time.

But because of my picky-ness (nothing too girlie, big, or flashy. something small, subtle, cool, but able to withstand daily wear, sweat and sports. cool enough to wear out and cool enough to wear to work.) and my stingy-ness (i saw something i liked in Muji for about $250. it fit my description so nicely that i thought i was paying that amount of money for a piece of string that might break at the slightest absent-minded tug), I haven’t been able to find any that I like and am willing to pay for.

And then I went to Beijing and saw this:

I’m not a person who impulse buys anything. If given a choice, I’d think about it for a few days first.

The shop has various lengths of that thing for sale. So a whole bunch of the really long ones can be hung together over a door frame to form a screen. The slight longer ones can be used as necklaces. And these short ones can be used as bracelets.

At first inspection, I know that it is made of recycled material put together somehow.

I tried it on. I tried a couple on. Some were a bit too big. Some were a bit too small. Tried adjusting where I attach the clasp. Looked at all the different colors. Each one was different.

The salesgirl says it costs RMB15.

And still I stood there mulling over whether I should get it or not: It won’t last. It’s not waterproof. Some have wierd characters on them. They don’t really fit perfectly. I wonder what they are made of. What else can I do with RMB15?…

Nasty was exasperated. Come on! It’s only RMB15! Here *and he grabbed one*, I’ll get it for you!

It ended up costing only RMB13, because he only had a ten and I only had a three.

Being a perfectionist, I couldn’t resist looking back at all the other bracelets on the rack…..what if there is one that is nicer, fitter, better?

But still, Nasty helped me put mine on and I grew to love it all the same.


Until, that is, we got home and I had a closer, more thorough inspection of it….and I realized *gasp* that the thing is made of paperclips! Bits of recycled wrapper-thingies folded around paper clips strung together!

I am wearing paperclips! Like those kids’ art projects in school! Paperclips!

Officially, I was wearing a piece of crap.

Not that it’s not nice, or I don’t like it. But technically, it is. Crap.

I somehow thought it should be something better than paperclips. Something less homemade-y. Something less DIY.


We later met up with some friends and we showed it to them. They inspected it.

Ben: Um. It’s better than nothing!


Sophie: *after looking at it for a while, obviously trying to think of something nice to say* It’s alright I guess. *and proceeded to stuff her hand in her mouth*


I got back to HK, and showed it to Cora.

Cora: *uncontrollable laughter* How much is it again?! RMB13?!! *more uncontrollable laughter* Only you gweilos would pay that much for recycled crap!!!…..Oh look! That recycled paper! It’s actually wrappers of Chinese cigarette boxes!!! *more laugher still*

Chinese cigarette boxes?! My heart fell. And I silently cried inside.


Well, no la. I sort of expected it. Plus, I call it a piece of crap myself. (technical term. technical term.) ;)

But, you know what? I like my piece of crap.

I like that one dangly bit that is there because my wrist is too small and we have to put the clasp one paperclip in.

I like the teeny metally jingly sound it makes when my arm moves.

I like the sharp primary colors on it. A contrast to almost everything I wear.

I like it being a deviation from my norm.

I like the shop, the street, and the area in which it was bought.

I like the place and the memories it reminds me of whenever I wear it.

I like the comments and conversation it brings up everytime I show it to someone.

I think it’s funny that it’s a piece of crap.


I like my piece of crap and hope it never breaks. :D

(What do you think of it? Don’t worry, I’m used to people calling it crap.)


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