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Stamp Collection: The Hobby I Inherited from My Grandfather

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Yesterday I read Joelle’s (February Girl) latest post, Hobbies: The Gateway to Self Discovery. It made me smile so big and weep a little, the latter may due to seeing the fridge was empty, either way she wrote an inspirational post, you guys. It felt like she was passing an important message to teenage me, to pick up a hobby or two because it’d bring a lot of positivity into my life.

Unfortunately, teenage me didn’t get the memo. I stopped doing my uncool hobbies and started texting boys instead. SMS became the new hobby. Eventually, I dumped, got dumped and continued the vicious dating cycle until I realized “Hey, boys are not that cool to begin with!” (well, most of them). So I started doing the weird things I enjoyed before again, even picked up some old hobbies. Stamp collecting was one of it.

I received a stamp book from my dad when I was young. He said, “This is for you. It belonged to your granddad, he has been collecting it for years”. My first thought was, “Whee!! I am going to be rich!”. Yes, I was hoping there were some valuable stamps in his collection, which I could make decent money from.

Stamp book

eBay hasn’t been founded back then. I had plenty of time to look through the collection before rushing it to the auction. I learned about different countries and their cultures from those 1″ x 1″ colorful papers. It was kinda like a world globe for me. Eventually, I began to obsess over it and started to save up my pocket money to buy vintage stamps from that one bookstore near my school.

Indian stamps

Years later I became a pain in the ass teenager who wouldn’t want to be caught dead with a stamp book. I packed and shoved my stamp collection into one of the boxes in the attic. My granddad must have been rolling in his grave on that day.

Srilanka Stamps

I have forgotten all about it until I saw limited edition stamps of different festivals in Singapore in 2008. I needed it in my life! I got it and a few others over the past few years (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, another 2012 and 2014) all the while because I had no idea what happened to the original stamp book.

Singapore stamps

When I moved back to my parents‘ last year, I gathered the courage to ask Mama Geek whether she had thrown out the boxes from the attic. Her answer: “Of course I did! I had no idea that you are going to move back!”. Valid point ma, then she continued “..but I kept some of your favorite things in the drawer”. Thank you Mama Geek!! Finally, among a lifetime worth of embarrassment dairies and letters, I saw it! My granddad’s stamp book. It felt more valuable the second time around.

The latest addition to the collection were stamps of the royal wedding of Prince William and Princess Kate, which I scored in Europe last year. With it, the first book has been filled completely. I ought to buy a new one to continue the legacy. Someday I will pass these books to my children, but only after I am sure of their plan to continue the hobby, so to say. I am not risking them snapping pictures of it and selling them in a few second with the help of a hybrid app of iPhoto, eBay, PayPal, DHL combined.


Alright, enough about me (for now), how about you? Do you collect anything back then? Now? If you don’t, I recommend doing it you guys! I think there is a collector in each of us.

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  • I like the idea of stamp collecting. It does bring you to a bunch of different worlds, times, and events. I’m glad to hear you re-took it up! It’s a shame we encounter those teenage years were we give up things cause they aren’t “cool” – but I guess that absence makes it an even greater passion when we stumble back to it eventually. Mine was a hobby (not a collection) that I lost and recently re-found was theater!

  • This is so cool! I’ve collected postcards for as long as I can remember. I buy one everywhere I visit, but I also save postcards I receive as mail. And I also collect turtles. Weird but fun. 🙂

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