October 7, 2009
Rolling Up Coins using Recycled Paper
I usually have quite a bit of coins in my drawers. And whenever I feel that it is time to bring my coins to the friendly shopkeeper down town I would use my very old style of counting money and roll the coins up in these old fashioned rolls.( The smaller coins packed in small plastic bags) go to the collection box for the Blind/Visually Disadvantaged at various bill collection centres.
This brings to mind the mother-in-law of my 7th Aunt who was in charge of the "money" in their textile shop so many decades ago in High Street Sibu. She would stack up the coins lovingly in different denominations and when she had enough of the 10's,20's and 50's she would roll them up to form $5.00's,$10.00's etc. Her fingers were amazingly nimble. Whenever my aunt had to go out from the shop to pick up some groceries she would pass by her mother-in-law and reverently asked for permission to leave the shop for a while. 7th aunt in her days never had the time nor the opportunity to go coffee- shop- hopping like what some of us younger generation love to do. It was not a "to-do" thingy then.
Grandmother Sia (or Ching Moo) was very attentive and she would be such a severe supervisor of the shop that every one would "fear" her. She was in total control of the cash and not a single cent would be wrongly counted in the buying and selling of the shop items. Her cashier's little unit was also well protected by several steel bars. Money went in and went out through a little square opening. I remember she had a good table top with two drawers which she kept under lock and key. And she sat on a beautiful European made swivel chair. Did any of the cousins ever try her swivel chair? I don't think so? May be only her own two grandsons did.
I also remember how she carried the keys of the shop and the safe in their inner / secret pocket. They were safely pinned by safety pin. Whenever she walked about we could hear the keys clanging.
I always think that she was the epitome of a Foochow towkay neo. So commanding and so in control. Probably she was the first Foochow towkay neo who practised POLC in a modern textile shop in my young eyes then. Years later I realise that the Chinese people always have their wives as managers of their shops. Or on the other hand the towkay's son would more often than not marry the cashier of their new outlet because she happens to be such a good accounts clerk.
And then I also learned that money can take full control a person's life too....But the Bible lessons in Sunday School also taught me that the love of money is the root of all evil.
(In another article I will post a picture of her swivel chair - which her family has been keeping in excellent condition long after they closed their textile shop...so until then - cheers)