Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Celosia cristata - Cockscomb flowers

Tradition or superstition dictates that on the third day of Chinese New Year which was yesterday, we do not visit our friends or relatives because if we do the relationship would result in quarrels and unhappiness. However as we modernise in our thinking and celebration of Chinese New Year, some of the rules (who made them anyway?) were broken without the expected consequences materialising. Anyway, I spent the afternoon at Borders Bookshop which was another taboo activity because buying books is also not an auspicious thing to do during Chinese New Year. Well, rules are made to be broken and I went to buy my books counteracting this rule with the rationale that only gamblers need to fear books (shu - meaning 'to lose' in Chinese). Since I am not gambler I think it is a good thing to go to the bookshop because there is wisdom to be gained there. What I had not expected to find were these flowerbeds of brilliant red cockscomb flowers. Now if one needs luck and good fortune, wouldn't these flowers be the most appropriate catalyst? So lucky, lucky me!

At the end of my feasting my eyes on these neglected beauties because people were either sitting in the shade of the building or buying books inside the bookshop, I walked into Borders armed with an aura of good luck to deflect the bad that may come my way. After an hour of browsing I bought a magazine for my son and was torn between buying' Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson or his second book 'Stones into Schools' about his ongoing efforts to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan following his success in doing the same in Pakistan (Three Cups of Tea). I took both to the counter and ended up buying only the second book because I did not agree with the terms of the offer in the voucher I got in a mailer. Offers of 50% reduction always come with conditions. You have to do some maths to realise that 50% actually works out to a lot less. I will buy the first book next time but not at Borders. Kinokuniya is still a better bookshop!

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