HMR and the joy of surplus.

After Mass, we passed by HMR. The self-styled “surplus haus” boasted banners in summer colors, and streamers with huge “70% off” headlines in watermelon red. HMR usually has computers, audio and video equipment, legacy parts and supplies (when was the last time you saw dot-matrix printer paper, or 128 MB thumb drives?), and furniture. The stock changes with the season, but those are the mainstays.

The shelves directly after the entrance always have a surprise. Around Christmas last year it was Puffy Ami Yumi playsets in pristine condition. This visit, I found a MontBlanc Noblesse rollerball (the saleslady said, “P7,500 e ballpen lang, ano ba yan.” (P7,500 for a ballpen, how could that be?) I heartily agreed. As my eyes tried to pick out any other pens among the watches (Citizen Eco-Drive, Kenneth Cole Reaction, and a whole lot of Nike Triaxes), I spotted a white object with a discreet bird splat.

White MontBlanc pen case

The pen case came home with me, for the grand total of P550 (around USD13). A bargain with or without bird splat. It’s cute. It feels sturdy. And it fits three M600-sized Pelikans:

Once I get around to ordering custom nibs for the Pelikan Shanghai and Piazza Navona, this could become my when-you-absolutely-need-to-carry-only-three-pens case.

I lucked out on padded envelopes at P10 each, and two VTech educational toys for Lucien. The lady in front of me at the cashier had cleaned out HMR’s entire stock of PET-bottled Perrier, V8, boxed Kleenex and multi-purpose paper. As she whipped out her gold Citibank card and her HMRewards card, I wanted to shake her hand in a sudden surge of shopping fellowship. Thank heavens my mom distracted me with a box of floor polish (24 bottles) and Miracle-Gro plant food.