Most of the things in my flat are secondhand. The sofa I found on Singapore's Gumtree site, the bookshelves and side tables at Salvation Army--I like a good bargain, you see, but what I like even more is things free of charge: thus far I have collected a carved, high-backed chair, a little wooden box for holding jewelry, a tellie stand, and a coffee table.
None of them, however, have as much character as my monkey candelabra. It was sitting in the free pile in the Parent Teacher Fellowship cottage at school, obviously too ugly and strange to be seriously considered for adoption. Its brass eyes stared dolefully at the people who came and went through the doors. I stopped at the sight of it, not sure it was something I was looking for--but then I checked myself. When would I again find a golden monkey candleholder? Never! That's when. I took it, despite some eyebrows raised in my general direction, and after a good go-around with the gold spray paint used for my side tables, it is now a fine addition to my living room.
Despite its exotic look, it was made in America--see, it says so on the bottom, Dad--and not, I might add, as some sort of shrine to Hanuman. If anything, I think it has a sort of "Monkey's Paw" feel to it, striking in its own way, but slightly grotesque and too peculiar to be quite comforting.