⟨ I Know I'll Often Stop and Think About Them ⟩

01-Tiny Wallet

Maison Martin Margiela Line 11 Wallet

Words & Photography / Holun Tang
Translation / Iris Heung

要清楚說明一個人的性格可能比較抽象吧,但如果說這個人在使用甚麼物件,那便比較容易理解了,好像奈良美智整個房間都佈滿了世界各地的舊玩具和搖滾音樂唱片,你便馬上覺得他很親近。

好了。我想談一下在我身邊的物件,作為第一篇,就談這個我正在使用的錢包好了,它可算是我真正的第一個錢包,是我畢業後打第一份工掙錢買的,算一算也有十多年了,所以如你所料,它已殘破到無可救藥的地步,內層的皮夾層穿了,外層有小洞,縫線也都磨損斷掉,雖然我曾把小洞修補和重新縫線,但後來又再破開。

It might be an impossible task to fully outline someone’s personalities in plain words, then would it be less abstract to describe a person through the items they own? Yoshitomo Nara’s room is full of old toys and rock vinyl records collected from around the world. Seeing this, I almost feel closely connected to him instantly.

Alright, what I would actually like to talk about is my personal items. To kick off the series, I will begin with the wallet that I have been using. This is perhaps the first wallet that I genuinely own. I bought it with the salary made from my first job after my graduation, which was over ten years ago. To no one’s surprise, my wallet is so old that it is almost falling apart. The inner layer of the leather is torn, whereas the outer layer is spotted with small holes. Well, even the stitches are worn and coming off. I did try to mend the small holes and restitched it, but it just broke again.

不知為什麼,世間的錢包體積都很大,有些人會莫名其妙地把一大堆東西像儲分卡啊、收據啊、名片啊、紙條啊、甚至膠布都放進錢包,把它綻得像電話簿一樣厚;或者有些人一把錢包打開便看得見有十張信用卡,一想到裡面是否有一張沒還清款項我便覺得很頭痛。總之,那時候我就覺得,這樣子過活實在太累贅了,我需要的只是付一兩張鈔票或者一兩張信用卡已。我希望我的錢包只放這些東西。

所以我對錢包的要求只有一個,就是細小,盡可能地細小,然後我遇上這個迷你錢包。它有多小呢?小得像一個卡片盒或零錢包,比一盒卡式帶更小,一張鈔票如果不對摺兩次便放不進去了。後來我再也找不到跟它一樣小的錢包。我甚至找過日本的皮革師傅替我訂造一個相同尺碼的,但最後不成事。

For some reason, some people tend to make their wallets hopelessly bulky by stuffing all sorts of unnecessary things into it. Stuff like stamp cards, receipts, name cards, memos, or even band-aid that do not belong to a wallet would end up staying there, until the wallet gets ridiculously thick and clumsy. Some others are obsessed with getting as many credit cards as they can possibly obtain. Don’t they find it stressful to keep track of which payment is soon overdue? Anyway, I am not one of them. This is not the way I would like to live my life. All I need is a couple of banknotes accompanied by one or two credit cards, and keep nothing else in my wallet.

Naturally, the only criteria I have for a wallet is its size. I need it to be as small as technically possible. Then one day, I came across this tiny wallet. It is as small as a cardholder or a coin pouch, it is even smaller than a cassette tape. I even have to fold a banknote twice before I can manage to stuff it inside of my wallet. That was the only time when I could find a wallet of this size. I even tried to ask a leather artisan in Japan to remake one, but it did not work out.

Maison Martin Margiela  Line11是該品牌於2005年開始的一條飾物支線,看回現在的時裝也真的不及從前有趣,我想有趣的不是來自所謂解構主義,而是我們本來也有的貪玩、叛逆、童心未泯。明明是內衣卻穿在外面,絲巾又可以變成連身裙,擺出半製成品卻跟你說已經完成了。首飾系列也很好玩,一根大釘子彎曲一下便變成手鐲,手錶拿走錶芯便是一條耐人尋味的手帶,把超現實變成現實。也難怪我這個錢包會這麼小了,本來就無規則可言,而我喜歡它聰明地加了一個放零錢的間隔,緊湊得剛剛好。

Maison Martin Margiela Line 11 is the accessories line the brand launched in 2005. Fashion nowadays is far less playful compared to those in the older days, which were simply more fun. By fun, I do not mean the so-called deconstructionism, but the childlike playfulness, the young and rebellious spirit, and the boundless curiosity. There were lingerie-like garments that were designed as outerwear, a scarf that could be worn as a dress, or products that looked like half-finished. Accessories were likewise amusing — the nail bracelet, a watch without a caliber could be worn as an intriguing hand band — Things that were proud to disobey the boundary of the norm, and boldly created a new reality. No wonder my wallet is so small in size. It was born in an era when rules were supposed to be neglected. What made it even more attractive is the coins compartment that cannot be more compact than it already is.

很多日本人為了把鈔票每張都放得井井有條,像新的一樣,而使用那種長型的錢包,天啊,真的不知如何放在口袋裡。好像也有一個說法,如果用那種皺巴巴的錢包,錢便永遠不會進來。啊!我這個可憐兮兮的小錢包,錢應該是進不來的了,我只希望可以一直使用它,直至它粉身碎骨。皺巴巴的錢包,皺巴巴的錢,管他的,有便拿出來吧,沒有就別想了,都無所謂了。

There are many Japanese who love to keep their banknotes as new as possible, so they find long wallets an easy solution. How can it be useful if it does not fit into the pocket? I think there is also a saying that a battered wallet would stop you from getting money in it. Hmm… looking at my worn and torn tiny wallet, I guess I can never be rich. But why should I care? With crumpled up banknotes in a crumpled wallet, I can keep spending until I run out of it. Money is only a problem when you make it so.