19 May 2024

Token Trifecta

Not to brag but, generally speaking, I find a lot of orphaned cash on the ground/floor. I'm not above taking that which has obviously been lost and no owner logically found, etc. Especially if that cash amount is relatively small, a few bucks here, a twenty there. I've stumbled upon so much lost cash, in fact, that I've lost track of how much cash I've found. This year, alone, I've already found $32.00 USD, which brings me to the beginning of this Trifecta of Tokens; the bodybuddy/lifemate found a ₩500 KRW whilst doing laundry a few weeks ago. 

Okay, for starters, the Korean 오백원 is my favorite piece of usable currency. This is no secret to anyone who knows me, which means that nobody really knows this factoid (the bodybuddy/lifemate excepted). My love for the 오백원 stems from its utility (between the years 2013 - 2018, when we lived there full-time). There are a lot of things that one 오백원 can buy, and there are even more things that a modest handful of 오백원 can buy you. And then, I learned that Koreans interpret people who pay in cash as "rich." We only paid in cash, but I never found out how Koreans feel about people who pay with change, lol. I felt like I was interpreted as poor, but one cannot have change unless one pays in cash, unless, obviously, one is homeless (i.e. "unhoused") and the change is pity money. This was why I would oftentimes find myself with a bowl of 오백원, and so, we started to include the cash value of all of the 오백원 we collected as disposable, which meant that I could spend them on whatever, whenever. And for many years, I lived, happily, exclusively by treat-spending the 오백원 we received as change as cash-only consumers. It was awesome. I didn't feel poor, so I never gave the image of paying with change any more thought.

And so, to this day, the Korean 오백원 represents something so pragmatic: that one coin could be the "right" value so as to make the purchasing of things at that price point a very simple transaction, AND that there are things (namely snack foods) that can be purchased at this 오백원 price. My love for it is undying. I love the 오백원.

And then, the bodybuddy/lifemate just happens to find one 오백원 on the dryer in the communal laundry room of our condo complex. 

imagine our luck
while (technically) living in the USA
we find a Korean 오백원
my favorite piece of global currency

While on our walk home from our jobplace, as we were crossing one of the many streets that must be crossed in order for us to reach our desired destination, I found a thing on the ground. I knew it wasn't money, but I didn't know if it was some small plaque-like thing purposely set into the sidewalk (the intersection in question has been newly redone). At first, I walked by as I took notice, but then I stopped, turned and picked it up. 

a literal token for something somewhere

Back in August of last year, I bought myself a black jade bangle as a reminder to "turtle" at my new job. As a high-achiever, jobs tend to burn me out because I want to do everything I do, well. This new job that I've been doing for nearly a year now, has taught me a lot of things, and one of those things is that some jobs are never "done."

The bangle broke within the first month of this year. Honestly, I wasn't even upset about it. I had felt that I had outgrown it, and so, I was looking for the next thing.

But then, this is when my patience was tested. There's a "local" Tibetan shop around here that I'd been wanting to visit to either purchase something new or get ideas about a new something-or-other to remind me of the existential things of which I need constant reminding lest I fall into a spiral of despair about the general ethos of failure I feel about my life and its "successes" and lack thereof, etc. 

By the end of January, right when the bangle broke, the "local" shop of Tibetan goods undertook a move. The projected date for reopening was early March, I think, and then it was pushed back to early April. During this time I considered my old amethyst bead-bracelet, but the sizing knot is frayed, and I really don't want that bracelet to snap and send those beads flying everywhere, etc. 

By the time the Tibetan shop finally reopened, I had lost all inspiration and motivation. I gave up. I asked the universe to speak to me. I let it go. 

And then, while on our run tonight, there it was, this amethyst bead-ring, just sitting there, on the sidewalk, right in my running path. I stopped and picked it up. 

I understand that someone lost this ring. And if you are a person who lost a ring like this, recently or not so long ago, please let me know the general vicinity of where you might have lost your ring that looks just like this one. If it was lost near where I found it, I will gladly send it to you. I whole-heartedly see the thing as a thing being borrowed.

Thus, in the meantime, I will wear it, as a long or short-term gift from a stranger. Thanks, Stranger. 

an amethyst bead-ring
until claimed, it will be borrowed