Eleven Cents

Vipavini - Bangkok, Thailand
Entered on May 27, 2008

Eleven Cents

“At least four Baht can buy you four pieces of candies at the school’s store” , said my friend’s little brother. My friend, his little brother, and I shared a cab back to the train station after our dinner get-together. I paid the taxi driver and he gave me four 1 Baht coins, which annoyed me like the way people at the stores give you change in pennies. I said “I don’t need these” carelessly due to the fact that I never use coins and it just accumulates in piggy bank. Even though this is the first time I’ve met my friend’s little brother, I’ve already learned something valuable from him. I’ve learned that money can buy happiness. Everyone values money, but not everyone appreciates getting coins as supposed to a light weight bill that fits neatly in their wallet. Just because coins are more bothersome does not mean that they cannot buy people objects that can cheer them up too.

Four Baht (eleven cents), or four little pieces of candies might not necessarily make me happy, but to other people, like my friend’s little brother, it did. Some might resort to candies or some sort of sweet stuff to brighten their day, while others might find those things to be just a ball of high corn syrup fructose. As controversial as the topic may be due to how different people define happiness, I on the other hand, firmly believe money can buy happiness no matter how long the effect might last for.

However, this weekend, I came across a movie that resonated with me and connected more personally with this belief. This past weekend, my friends and I went to watch a movie, Hitch, in the McNeil Lounge. Will Smith, who played the role of Alex Hitchinson, is a “private consultant”. His clients paid him good money to help them get the girl they want. However, the goal was just to get the females to notice the guy and make the right first moves and then his clients were on their own. To me, getting a private counselor is like going to a more active kind of a theory session. In this case, Albert Brennaman, was so desperately and hopelessly in love with Allegra Cole that he was willing to pay the private counselor to be more satisfied and happy.

It made sense why my friends called me a “shopaholic” Purchasing something at a mall is my four pieces of candy or my Alex Hitchinson. While something I buy can be totally unnecessary to other people, it might make my day. Different amount of money can buy people happiness on different scales. Paying one’s way into college might give them a lot of joy when they get the big acceptance package. Paying four Baht for four pieces of candies might make a little kid’s day. Paying a private consultant might mean being happy with the one you love forever. I now look at money as a valuable object, despite what the value on the coin/bill can buy you.