最近在一家舊式文具店裡，重遇上這套德國施德樓出品的Xcellence Math Set，價格連一般家庭小孩都負擔得起。不過最叫人振奮的是，這套裝連同筆盒共有十樣文具，當你查看包裝內容物時，心裡浮起一種打開福袋包時的期盼。
話說，施德樓作為逾百年的文具大廠，從最高檔的繪圖工具，至最平價的通用文具都一網打盡；豐儉由人的經營策略，是從學生到上班族都愛用的品牌。而在最經典的鉛筆、橡皮擦之外，上面這套Xcellence Math Set，大概也算是我們第一世界小孩們的集體回憶了。
When I was a student, I was given only very little pocket money. Whenever I saw high-end stationery items inside display cabinets at big department stores, I normally could only shake my head and heave a sigh. Even though there was no doubt I could not afford such luxurious items, if I could tighten my belt and save, I could more than afford to buy their low-end counterparts.
Recently, at an old-style stationery store, I have once again stumbled upon this Xcellence Math Set, a product of Staedtler in Germany sold at a price affordable even for children from ordinary families. The most exciting feature of this set, however, is that it comes with a pen case along with a total of ten different stationery items. The feeling of opening the package to check its content is akin to the anticipation you have when opening a Fukubukuro, or lucky bag from Japan.
Inside the iron pen case drawn with images of a range of stationery items are a variety of tools, including pencil, eraser, pencil sharpener, compass, straight and triangular rulers, and protractor. Held in hand, this set of stationery items, which are made of plastic, feel as light as feathers. Items such as compass and straight ruler can be bent, and for certain, their texture is somewhat inferior. However, your personal memories and emotions always have a bearing on the extent to which you love an object.
It is said that Staedtler, a stationery giant boasting a history of more than a hundred years, sells everything from the highest-end painting tools to regular stationery items of the lowest price range. Given its business strategy targeting both high and low-end markets, it is well-loved by students and the working population. Apart from the most classic pencils and erasers, this Xcellence Math Set here can be considered part of the collective memories of children growing up in first-world countries.