Four Little Things

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Tagged… for a meme that is actually fun! Barbara from Home In France asked a few of us about the oldest objects we have at home. This turned out to be pretty tricky for me!

Indeed, I have actually never really moved in Canada. Well, at least not “move” in the real sense of the word. In 2002, I showed up with no more than a backpack — full of summer clothes since we were coming back from South America. I did go to France many times since then but I didn’t have much to bring back anyway. My clothes weren’t really Canadian-winter proofed, my books were too heavy and well, we didn’t have a CD players so no point in taking my music collection (although I did copy it on my laptop).

So, finding four “old” things was tricky.

This is one of the only thing I brought from France: my pens and my pencils. I used to draw a lot, much man than I do now… and I collected all kind of pens, pencils, felt-tip pens, crayons etc. I put them all in a metal box (actually, and old Chinese mooncakes — 月饼 — box) and they are just fine. I brought my fountain pen from France as well. Memories… I wrote all my university exam with it. It’s a cheap plastic pen but I still use it to fill up important paperwork. I had to bring the ink cartridge because I had a hard time to find them in Canada: they are pretty expensive. I guess Canadians don’t use fountain pens much. It’s a favorite in France! I We even had classes on how to use it. Ibought the Winnie The Pooh pencil case in China. I know, it’s childish and blahblahblah but hey, everybody has a soft spot. Or three Winnie The Pooh in the room. No?

This is one of the most important thing I owe: my immigration folder. It starts with my working holiday visa application back in 2004, then the permanent visa application, then the landed immigrant papers and finally, my first Canadian I.Ds. Just looking at it this afternoon made me think of how stressful immigration was… and how much I sweat over these papers! I still remember reading on the Citizenship & Immigration website, during my weekly check on my application process, the following magical words: “A decision has been made on your application. The office will contact you concerning this decision.” Oh, I was so excited! The little Winnie notepad (yeah, Winnie again, bought in China as well) had all my file reference numbers. I keep all that as memory… And more will be added since I’ll apply for my citizenship this year!

These are all my Chinese study books that I bought in China or in France and brought to Canada. No comment on the “International Marxist Review” booklet…! The small blue book is my Chinese dictionary. I have many but this one has always been my favorite… It’s small and yet very comprehensive. I bought it in Nanjing in 2000 and took it to every single exam I had (well, whenever I was allowed to use a dictionary!). All the books have a lot of notes and highlighted passages… and occasionally cigarette burn, coffee stains and chocolate crumbs! Most of them are in French but I also have a few in English or Chinese. Finding Chinese books or books on Chinese history in France was really difficult and I had to track down a few books from small publishers. They are quite unique.

And finally, this is my little beauty case. I got the blue vanity case as a present for Christmas when I was about 12 I think… I have always used it as far as I can remember, and took it with me everywhere. Getting worn out though! I bought the small Tiger Balm pot in Belize (we used it against mosquitoes bites!) and it’s quite old… I just keep it for memory, along with the blue Urban Decay eyeshadow that I don’t really wear anymore (past 18 years old, blue glitter doesn’t look that good)! You can also see my necklace and my ring. Feng bought me the jade in New Zealand (not China like most people think!) and I rarely take it off… I had loved the shape of it when I saw it and got it in Christchurch.

So, your turn to look for oldies!

Here are the rules:
All you do is to look in your home for the oldest objects that you own. Just your own possessions . Then, take a photo of each object, and( if you like ), do a short description of each . Pass on to four friends.

I’d like to tag:

Have fun girls!


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Salut Zhu,
    Thank you again for playing.Great ! I can already get a little taste of your past years.I didn’t bring a ton with me either; one small suitcase & a cardboard box filled with some clothes.

    I see for you there is some France and more of China in your objects.What a studious young lady :)Somewhat like myself; I went to school for the longest time in my life.

    France made you an artist first.What a big pen & pencil collection.
    All those books are keepers now.It must be hard to find the samz in Canada ( or they are $$$ ).
    Your vanity case is just so sweet ! I bet that you will be holding on to that for a long time because it is too hard to seperate from such close possessions.

    Very good news for your papers also Full spead ahead !!

    Merci encore mon amie; c’était très intéressant de voir les objets du passé de Zhu 😉

    Take care.

    barbaras last great read…Thank you Leesa !!

  2. No wonder you’re such an artist! All those pens, and yes, mooncake boxes do come in handy ya?

    During exams, I use those cheap ballpoints. 😛 Sometimes they are given free, esp when u happen to stay at a hotel. 😉 Fountain pens are expensive things to use, and I haven’t seen anyone using it here for exams!

    You can always hunt for your favourite books on the internet, if they’re not on sale at your place. That’s the wonder of Internet! 😀

    kyhs last great read…A Buddhist’s self-reflection

  3. This looks like a fun meme and I love all your knickknacks and writing/drawing tools. It’s hard for me to throw anything like that away. I have a million pens, markers, erasers, sharpeners…and when I’m out at a craft store, I buy MORE!

    BTW, I love the little blue vanity.

    Scarlets last great read…david, darwin and dancing

  4. 😀 Thank you Zhu for commenting on my blog, I have in fact read your blog quite a few times, but I get lazy about commenting, mainly because my time is so limited and I always seem to have to sign in!

    I love your blog, and I love the way you have decorated it…my blog is very neglected, but my new business is not, so that is a plus:)

    take care and i should make a new post, as we have found a house, which is right in our village and I can walk to work, so it will be nice:):):)
    a++ Kim

    Kims last great read…Fool me once…. by Thomas

  5. Colleen- Function of Time on

    OOOHHH, this looks fun!

    Colleen- Function of Times last great read…This is What Happens When I Wake up Early

  6. Salut Zhu,

    Incredible meme! I am in!! By next week I will have posted, thanks :happy: !
    I love you beauty case: so sweet! 😀
    I also loved your jade necklace: gorgeous! I have jade bracelets (love them)!

    Let’s see what I will come up with, I have a quite few oldies (some since I was a baby)! Thanks for this tag, once again!!


    Max Coutinhos last great read…The Kiss

  7. WOW!! This is the first time I have been here, arriving via “Max’s” blog.

    Love your header, one of the best I’ve seen. I am jealous :whatever:

    … anyhoo, just wanted to say hello before headed back to Hollydale.

    Eric “Speedcat Hollydale”s last great read…Drowsey Monkeys

  8. @barbara – Coucou Barbara, I’m glad you enjoyed reading the meme you created! This one was a very interesting one actually, I had a lot of fun putting all the pictures together. Made me think too… I realized what I valued the most were papers and pens 😆

    @Seraphine – words sometimes don’t make sense… no matter there order!

    @kyh – That’s funny, cause fountain pens are very popular in mainland China, Feng always tells me he used it a lot when he was young growing up there. It’s cheap in France… we like ballpoints too (the “crayon Bic”, after the company), but not as much. Or maybe it’s just me!

    @Scarlet – I’m the same, always buying pens! They are usually cheap and come in all kind of shapes and colors! I tag you for the meme if you want to do it too.

    @Kim – Hi Kim! Thanks for commenting and saying bonjour! I’m glad I found you, I love to follow expats stories around the world. So you will see me again!

    @Celine – Thanks! Yeah, sometimes it’s fun to be a bit more personal.

    @Colleen- Function of Time – It is! Except I looked like a crazy woman tooking pictures on my pens on the carpet yesterday 😆

    @Max Coutinho – I like jade in general, it’s a beautiful stone. I can’t wait to see your old stuffs!

    @Theresa – I almost didn’t include Winnie cause well, I’m not proud of it, but I like it 🙂 My jade on the other hand is something I love to wear everyday!

    @Eric “Speedcat Hollydale” – Hi there, thanks for dropping by! I have to check out your place tonight 😉 I just changed my header a couple of days ago, my new Photoshop toy 😉

  9. Yo cool & neat 😀 I saw that almond biscuit tin you have there heheheh…I love almond cookies from Macau.

    Oh also about tiger balm they are really good and I always buy them as gifts for my English friends. Do you want some? I would love to send some over to you….email me and give me your address Zhu, the pleasure is mine..anytime 😀


  10. my wife has a pencil collection…she might have one from France.

    I love crayons. I still color…in a coloring book.

    sir jorges last great read…Hometown Hero Daniel Castillo

  11. Thanks for the offer Shionge, that’s so sweet! I’d love to actually, I’ll email you and we work out a deal 😉

    Jorge… personally, I think coloring very relaxing. Clears my mind.

  12. I love it! The pictures really do me in really… I hope to have more time to blog and eventually go back to my other domain… Great hints on your other post too.

  13. Oh I think I should add that I know your pain and sweat waiting for the immigration papers. I only came with a few suitcases up here because I knew I just needed to have warm and cold clothes as I came to immigrate too! It was after that I found P and we decided a different route.

    expatravelers last great read…My Shoes – Photo Hunt

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