OH MY GOD! Yes, that’s right.. Stayfree Feminine Protection, assorted types and sizes (Maxi/Ultra Thin pads) are now on sale at Walmart this week! The sale goes from Feb 11th to 17th here in Ontario. However, please ensure you check your local flyers and applicable Walmart stores to see if they offer the sale as I’m not sure whether all Walmarts across Ontario offer the same sale-products! I’m totally going to take a look and see how much stuff I have left over at home, maybe stock up for myself, some of my girls and perhaps for bebe! 😀
If you have the “Save $5 when you buy 2 Stayfree, Carefree or O.B” products coupon, here’s your chance to use it and even get $1 back! I’m going to wait until near the end of this sale-week to see if my coupon arrives and that’d be great if it did. Walmart does have some awesome $1 and $2 sales this week as well, so everyone is advised to check out the flyers whether on-paper or on-line while taking advantage of this great pad-sale! I’m usually not a fan of Walmart, but hey, gotta give it to them if they really have a good sale on!
I just wished they’d bring the Thermo Control Stayfree pads over to Canada, ARG!
Found some things of interest for the girls and fellow flow-lovers… one of my favourite places to find amazing deals. Content between the following quote is all property of Smartcanucks and their wonderful community.
This sample was available a while ago but they quickly ran out so quite a few Sc’ers didn’t get a chance to order. Mine came in with lots of samples and a few coupons, I was quite impressed.
Simply fill out the details below and get a sample pack from Always® and Tampax®!
To receive the Always® and Tampax® Kit, simply provide the information requested below and click submit.
*This offer is available for Canadian residents only. Limit one request per household while quantities are available. Please allow 8-10 weeks for delivery.
Sponsored by Always® and Tampax®.
Please note – One submitted entry per person and/or email address.This offer does not apply to current BeingGirl members.
From what I heard, even if you fill it out and mark yourself as MALE (if that’s the case), they will still send you the samples without prejudice as long as you match the requirements for shipment.
Another great catch, not free, but available in stores is from No Frills if you happen to have a save $2 coupon lying around, you could get yourself some Always pads for only 97 cents! Please see this thread for more details.
In the No Frills (ON) Sept. 3-9, 2010 flyer, Always Maxi pads (12-24 ct.) are advertised for $2.97. If you have the Save $2 when you buy one Always Ultra or Maxi (24-48 ct.) from brandsaver.ca then you pay only $0.97 for the Maxi (24 ct.). The picture in the coupon is the Ultra kind, which is green, but those aren’t the ones on sale for $2.97. Make sure you pick up the Maxi kind (blue package, 24 ct.) pictured above, which is also covered by the coupon.
Thanks to cesme77 for posting the flyer for us!
Then the following is my own find on eBay for “Sanitary Pads for Night” which appear to be the Korean-version of Whisper pads. Of course if you have more information on this or can confirm/deny this, please feel free to let me know and you will be credited!
This seller is selling both the 32cm and 41cm versions of it and you can see more info in the pad absorbency chart he/she provides…
The reason why I was so particular in posting this wasn’t because I’m affiliated with the seller, but because this is one of the few sellers who I’ve seen to have reasonable shipping prices on maxi pads/tampons exported from Asia. Normally, the shipping fees are ridiculous for Whisper, Sofy, Laurier, Kotex or Stayfree pads outside of the local vicinity. International flat-rate shipping on a pack of pads is only $2.00 USD! Although the pads themselves aren’t cheap and may be why they can offer such a low shipping rate, it is $6 a pack and only contains 8 pieces. However, I would reckon if they’re similar to the Whisper Overnights sold in HK – they may very well be of same quality! If anyone ever gets these, please let me know what you think of them. I believe the seller is only offering both overnight pads with wings and does not have ones without. Of course if you have any questions, please direct them to the eBay seller and not me since I don’t know anything more than what is posted!
That’s it for tonight – can’t think right now, too much on my mind!
LOL…. wow, this is just incredible I had to post it! I take no credit for the content posted in the block-quotes as it’s an excerpt from Chinasmack. Clearly there is a lot of talent in China to be able to create something like this. Perhaps a bit of dedication as well to make something so detailed. My head would explode having to compose something that intricate!
Only read this if you have a lot of time, but I assure you it made me smile and hope it will make you smile as well 😛
by terroir on Monday, June 21, 2010
This is a photostory posted on the Tianya BBS that “borrows inspiration” from the recent 3D CGI blockbuster “Avatar” to tell a similar story of “man vs nature”. It appears to be an advertisement for tourists to come to Xishuangbanna, China as this certain locale is touted to have served as an actual inspiration for Avatar as well as having been the one place in China that looks the most similar to Pandora, the fictional moon paradise where the 10 tall blue-skinned Na’vi live.
This use of the movie Avatar to promote tourism in China is not new. In fact, the BBC had reported that the Southern Sky Column in Zhangjiajie, Hunan province, had changed its name to the Avatar Hallelujah Mountain as a way to attract tourists (a claim reportably later denied by officials).
While it looks like a movie, the stills are so heavily Photoshopped and art directed that these are not likely to be movie stills.
Netizens are on the whole very supportive of this post, in no short part due to the insinuated nudity shown by the lead actress.
Me and my friend’s made a shanzhai version of “Avatar”, raising pot lid
I’m always slumming it over at “lian2peng2” shooting the bull, but over here in the “Picture Section” I am a noobie and this will be my first time posting, so go easy on me.
Previously I have always been writing many ghost stories and horror novels. My friends have complained I have become more and more depressing, so I’ve decided to try something new.
Thus inspired, I have tried to write a different story than before. In collaboration with my good friend whom I’ve known since the fourth grade in primary school and a professional photographer, the two of us have put our combined results on the internet.
HOHO, I must tell you, my friend is a beautiful and intelligent single female photographer!
If you think this is at least a little interesting, then please give a hand and ding this post. If on the other hand you find the story and images all very boring, I also welcome bricks.
PS: This was originally a short story, but because of the photographs, it snowballed into more and more. As the pictures are finished we will be releasing them, so it will be within three or four days before that is done. If we’re not careful we will be serialized, and we’re really sorry about that.
First let me nervously raise my pot lid, and post an introductory movie poster we made.
Oh, I should tell you this pictorial story is named “Skygazer Tree – Alianya”
The pictorial story:
The story goes like this:
As a long time white collar office worker and burdened with the stress of living, life has made me more and more detached and numb. All day long I am distracted with running this endless corporate rat race against my competition just to pay for my apartment.
I am so tired, I just want to run away and hide. After one sudden impulsive outburst, I finally handed in my resignation and decided to throw all of my life’s pressure away to one side and take a long deserved vacation.
On the wall of my home is a map, and when I got back home I decided to try something: with my eyes blindfolded with a black cloth, I would randomly throw a dart. Wherever the dart landed would be my destination of my trip.
According to where my dart landed, I have arrived at Sipsong Panna (or Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China).
Having gotten off the plane I immediately noticed the sun beating down on my shoulder, making me feel as though the warmth touched my soul.
Leaving Jinghong International Airport in Yunnan and riding in a car for two hours, I finally arrived at the location as pointed out by the dart, Mengla county in Xishuangbanna Daizu Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province.
A friend told me that the world’s most beautiful rainforests are located here in which the tallest trees poke at the sky. These types of trees, the tallest in China, are called Skygazer trees.
After getting out of the car, however, I didn’t see a trace of the tropical rainforest. In front of me all I can see were flaky rubber trees and withered, dead tall trees.
These are the Skygazer trees, the soul of the rainforest, but all they could do now were to stretch their weak withered branches, somehow doing their best to stretch outwards almost as if they were wordlessly trying to give an account of something. Could it be that these rainforest trees are the same ones from my dream?
As the economic development grew, as could be seen in the great number of rubber trees planted, the area of the rain forest was quickly reduced. But what could I do to help the Skygazer trees survive?
I then approached a Hani village just nearby the rainforest, the local village people enthusiastically told me that I needed to embark on a speed boat to follow the water route; that way I could then reach the forest with the Skygazer trees.
Thus I shook off my wits and went down to the pier to disembark, but as I neared the pier a light flashed before my eyes.
Not far in front of me, a pretty girl suddenly looked back, her eyes tinged with a look of grief. I pitied her, and my heart was unable to avoid the wide waves of emotion she washed over me.
However, she quickly faced forward and sped off. On the pier she boarded a ship and headed for the forest with the Skygazer trees; coincidentally, just the place I too was headed!
I sped up my footsteps to get on the same speed boat she was about to embark on, but by accident I let two local people, a boy and a girl, get in my way. They enthusiastically carried a bamboo cup full of some enchanting spirit and invited me to drink it.
This is the way of the local people; any time a stranger would visit the village of the Hani people, the villagers would invite him to drink a cup of this enchanting spirit. But through their enthusiasm, I lost out on my chance to board the same boat as the girl.
With a touch of concern for this beautiful woman, I hurriedly accepted the cup and drank heavily.
When I put down the elixir cup, the speed boat she was riding in had already left the pier. I boarded another speed boat when by a lucky coincidence the boy and girl who had just served me were also traveling in the same boat as I.
While the speed boat raced over the green waves and ripples of the Nanla River. I looked at the the uniformly kept rubber trees that passed by us on both banks in neat little rows. I nervously contracted my brow, and my heart refused to falter.
Images appeared in my mind of a hatchet come striking down, and then of a “Stargazer” tree lumbering down with a crash, and then of thousands of young rubber tree plant spouts replacing them. Each day a bit of rainforest disappears, but how many people actually know this fact?
I lifted up the camera in my hand and decided to record everything as realistically as possible.
Onwards the boat went. In less than a moment’s notice, the rubber trees all disappeared only to be replaced by a lush, virgin rainforest, one that has been untouched and undeveloped!
In the midst of my euphoria at marveling at the beautiful scenery of what appeared o be an Amazon River of the East, I let out a huge cheer! But then by accident, it appeared to me that the Hani local boy and girl were secretly spying and peeping at me – but maybe I was being too suspicious.
After getting out of the boat I tried looking for the girl, but the Hani people took me to a secluded part of the rainforest.
After having madly passed through an overgrowth of strange plants, I saw row upon row of tall, towering trees, so tall they stuck right into the bottom of clouds!
They told me that these were the fabled Skygazer trees I had been searching for, and all I had to do was to climb to the peak of these trees and then I could turn to heaven and make a wish, one that would prove to be effectual and matchless without comparison.
The local people have tied ropes in the middle of these Skygazer tree to make a makeshift corridor. As the local girl made her way across it seemed like she disappeared in the middle of this treacherous passage.
“Do you dare cross it?” the Hani local boy asked me, sneeringly.
How can I let them look down upon me? However, when I was traversing this sky bridge I could really feel the rope beneath my feet tremble above this lofty perch…
The view below was of a endless sea of green foliage from the crown of trees, while above me the Skygazer trees loomed overhead. I could not help but feel giddy and dizzy.
At that time my heartbeat raced and I wanted so much to turn back, but then the local boy and girl turned back and quietly snickered at me.
I took a deep breath to measure my pace, and then finally in the middle of the Skygazer trees on that corridor, I made one step, and then another…
Only after had I taken a few steps out into the sky corridor did I discover that it was suspended thirty meters above the ground, and the crowns of other trees were under my feet.
From this other point of view, I could really see this previously unseen scenery.
In the wink of an eye, I forgot my fear and dread. I felt as though I had seemingly dissolved into the most majestic, large, natural landscape. In order to look at even more beautiful scenery, I lifted up my legs and without fear marched forward.
When I reached the summit of the Skygazer trees, I couldn’t refrain from letting out a huge cry. Only the bravest souls have the right to reach out and touch heaven.
At the highest point of the sky corridor, underneath the crown of a Skygazer tree, the Hani local girl waited for me with a bunch of sweet flowers in her hands.
According to the rules of the rainforest, once one has traversed the sky corridor one has attained the same level as Skygazer tree hero, and thus receive fresh flowers from a Hani native.
I received the flowers and closed my eyes and took a deep sniff, and an unusually refreshing and sweet smell overwhelmed me.
After smelling this unusually sweet fragrance, I suddenly felt the sky spin and the ground beneath me give out.
The sunlight streamed though the dense layers of Skygazer foliage and scattered all across the top of me; it felt both warm and foreign.
In the middle of a trance, it seemed as though I heard a song drift in from a distant place, a song with the urgent beating of drums.
Afterwards, I fainted beside a Skygazer tree.
Heaven knows how long I was out for, but after what seemed a long time I stirred awake.
I opened my eyes and saw the sky had already turned dark, but through the darkness I saw that the inconceivable had somehow found a way to come true.
As I stood next to a Skygazer tree, I discovered that my hands, my face, in fact my entire skin had unexpectedly turned blue. Also, on my head was a long, thick, black braid that wasn’t there before.
What had happened? I could simply not believe my own eyes.
If it wasn’t me that has gone insane, then it was the world that had gone insane.
I madly looked all around me and saw on a grassy bank near the Skygazer tree lay my cell phone; it’s signal was still strong.
This surely had to be a hallucination. I picked up the cellphone and wanted to verify if I was normal or not by calling someone.
Suddenly a blue arm reached out from behind the Skygazer tree and stole my cell phone.
I raised my eyes and saw now a beautiful girl with skin color completely identical to mine. On her forehead she had a strange tattoo.
She stood beneath the Skygazer tree and directed a small giggle at me.
Who is she? Why does she also have this kind of blue skin?
I felt uncertain about this, but then I saw this mysterious girl open her red lips and softly say a word: “ALIANYA?”
I did not know what she was talking about; all I could do was nod my head.
The mysterious girl’s face immediately brightened up, and then brought together her lips to issue a shrill ear-piercing whistle.
In the blink of an eye, I heard several disturbing rustling noises scattered all around me. As my eyes following my ears, I saw two people who were likewise covered in blue skin, a man and a woman, coming out from behind an enormously tall Skygazer tree and stood right before me.
Who are they? I was completely confused. Why are all the people here blue?
Through all this vagueness, I suddenly had a bizarre feeling. I felt as though I had seen their faces before in those of the Hani local young boy and girl; they were one and the same.
“ALIANYA?” the blue-skinned boy and girl asked using strange sounds to repeat the same three words the mysterious girl had said.
The mysterious girl nodded her head, and the boy eyed with with a strange look. He stood underneath the Skygazer tree, unceasingly changing his expression.
I could see that he was full of suspicion and would not easily trust me.
The young man suddenly pushed aside the mysterious girl and whisked out a crossbow that was hidden behind him. He raised it to a ready position cocked with a feather arrow and aimed it at me.
I only knew too well; all he had to do was to loosen the trigger and an arrow dipped in poison would be shot into my chest.
What does he want? All I am is an average rainforest seeking tourist, why is he so full of hostility towards me?
Underneath the shadow of the Skygazer crown of foliage, I had no possible escape!
In the midst of having these youngsters vehemently aim their crossbows at me, the sky suddenly became full of seeds of pure white fluff that floated in. In front of me they spiraled and lingered upon my person, and little by little they settled upon my shoulders.
Such beautiful seeds! I couldn’t refrain from loudly calling out in wonderment!
As well, the faces of the blue-skinned youngsters exploded with joy. They put down their crossbows and unconsciously the hostility in their faces disappeared.
Once the mysterious girl saw the sky was full of floating bizarre seeds, she unexpectedly turned and madly ran off to the most distant part of the rain forest.
Her shadow disappeared underneath the enormously tall Skygazer trees.
Where did she go? Could it be that she is deliberately trying to escape me? I could not help but let loose a high cry.
I turned one eye towards the blue-skinned youths and they revealed an understanding smile. Even though they have not yet said a word to me, I still felt as though they were encouraging me.
I lifted my head in the direction of the vanished mysterious girl, and once I collected myself, I lifted my my foot in the direction of the Skygazer trees and began to run wildly.
I must find her!
Underneath the Skygazer trees and amidst the brush, I caught another glimpse of the mysterious girl. She stood underneath a wide broad leaf of a rainforest plant and with the corners of her mouth raised, faced me and smiled.
She put a few grotesque wild fruit on a leaf as a makeshift serving tray and offered it to me.
Is this for me to eat? Are these fruits edible?
I remember someone once told me, deep in the old forests of mountains it is not necessary to eat wild fruits. If they are edible, then they can be given to squirrels to eat instead of us.
It seemed as though the girl could see my meaning, and threw an encouraging glance my way.
I gathered my courage and took a fruit and put it to my mouth. It was sour and yet had a sweet flavor to it, and I never thought it could taste so good.
Afterwards, I couldn’t help but reach out into the tree above and pick a fruit myself.
After I had eaten the fruit the pure white fluffy seeds came back. They spiraled around the two of us and landed on our shoulders.
The mysterious girl spread out her two hands widely focused her gaze on a white fluffy seed that landed in the middle of her palm.
What is it? While I was feeling uncertain, a sweet fragrant gust of wind came and blew the white seed off her palm and could be seen spiraling again in the air, slowly drifting down.
My, such exquisite beauty!
After a short while she raised her head and placed her bright red lips next to my ear and lightly whispered: “You really are Alianya”.
Alianya? What is Alianya? I have already heard this word twice.
It seemed as though the mysterious girl could see my bewilderment. She picked up a seed and said to me, “Only a hero with a pure heart and soul would have the tree’s spirit seeds come spiral around them.”
Tree spirit? A hero with a pure soul?
Well, I once had bravely crossed the Skygazer tree corridor which was mounted up in the sky; by doing so that had already proved my bravery. And now these white seeds have drifted down; does this mean I have a pure soul?
The mysterious woman nodded her head, and again spoke softly into my ear, “Yes, you are Alianya, the people’s hero as bestowed by Heaven itself! We need you, we need your help!”
Need my help? Need what help?
I had too many questions, and I eagerly awaited her answers.
She paused a bit, and when she spoke her tone suddenly became imposing: “The rubber tree forest is encroaching on our rain forest at this very moment, with each rubber tree that is planted a Skygazer tree comes crashing down; with each passing day the total area of the rain forest continues to diminish. To make a complete recovery, we must let the gestating spirit of the rain forest return to Mother Earth.”
Spirit of the rain forest? This was the first time I had heard this phrase.
The eyes of the mysterious girl suddenly met mine; she said, staring directly at me: “The rain forest is pregnant and expecting to deliver a god, and that god is the spirit of the rain forest!”
However, the greedy and avaricious people of the Earth have always coveted the spirit of the rain forest and have wanted to capture it.
Once they are able to capture the god-fetus inside the pregnant rain forest, these people will be able to dominate the rain forest. The ultimate fantasy of these people is to transform the rain forest into an paradise of rubber plant trees!
It seems as though some people have helped these evil people in already determining the exact location of the gestating god of the rain forest. Through scamming and exploitation they have made use of a bulldozer and are cutting down trees, and are closing in step by step towards the deepest part of the Skygazer trees.
The mysterious girl and her similarly blue-skinned companions are the spirited and plucky guardians of the rainforest, the following the same role as those before them had done previously and then passed down through the generations: to always protect the impregnated rain forest and the earth bank containing the unborn god.
They call themselves “Alianya”. In the words of these local people these three words mean “the forest with the trees”.
The Alianya protect the spirit of the rain forest, and I am their newest recruit.
In order to resist against foreign intruders, I need to learn each of the skills the Alianya use to survive in the rain forest.
The mysterious girl took out a bow and some arrows and gave them to me. She pouted her lips as if to say to me, “Do you know how to use this?”
Pffft! How hard can this be? Back in the city, my favorite hobby was throwing darts.
I took the bow and with indifference I pulled back the string; however, in doing so I neglected to put an arrow in it.
The girl suppressed a giggle; naturally, she wasn’t that type of person to ridicule or jeer at someone. However, I became so shy that I felt ashamed to show my face–Heaven knows if a blue face still allowed someone to blush and feel embarrassed. Why shouldn’t I be skilled at hitting my target?
I picked a few wild fruits to use as targets from a neighboring tree, and, calming my heartbeat and aiming, I summoned all my skill to throw a dart. It squarely hit the target across from us.
Bam! By lucky coincidence, upon impact the fruit shattered upon impact.
“Ha ha ha!” Out of the girl a cheerful sound came out out.
As the daylight faded, the mysterious girl took me down to the blue, undulating waves of the Nanla River.
She let me stand on a bamboo raft on my own. And then after having untied the rope and unhitched the raft, she kicked it out with her foot.
In an instant, the surface of the bamboo raft became slick as the waves of the Nanla River beat against my craft.
I suddenly began to panic; to extended my hand into the Nanla River to pick up a withered old tree branch; I wanted to row the bamboo raft back to shore.
But with such a slender branch, can I really smoothly guide the raft back?
She stood at the riverbank laughing heartily, and yet she kept repeatedly flashing hand signals towards me almost as if to say: “I am able to do this under my own power, I can operate this bamboo raft by myself.”
Rely on my own strength, my own power? Don’t rely on the tree branch?
Peace would not come to my heart as I lifted up the the tree branch in my hand and watched attentively to the river water spilling onto the raft.
At that time to my mind came an incomparable stillness; I discovered that I could feel the raft and I slowly but surely become one.
I tried out this idea to marshal the bamboo raft under my command, and bade it to turn left. And, in fact, it did; slowly and unhurriedly it began to shift, drifting lazily towards the left.
A-hah! I really could rely on my own power and smoothly operate the bamboo raft.
With the Nanla River flat as a mirror, I could see my own blue reflection in it.
I was happy like a madman, I wanted to let the mysterious girl know of my joy. But as I looked over to the riverbank, I could not see her footprints anymore.
After a long while she finally returned. She told me she had gone into the rain forest to rest a bit.
I asked her where she rested, and she pointed beside a banana tree.
Although I couldn’t see with my own eyes exactly on which banana leaf she rested, but I could still guess the circumstances at that time.
On the raft I played so happily that I just about forgot everything else; seemingly both the raft and I became as one, and together we went sight-seeing on the Nanla River.
I was indescribably excited, and I could not refrain myself from yelling out a loud cry.
I need to let everyone hear my roar!
Unconsciously, I began to feel a hunger in my belly. I steered the bamboo raft towards the riverbank. There, the mysterious girl smiled a smile and hopped aboard the raft.
She extended her arms and inserted them into the clear river water. When she retracted them she held in her hands a fresh, fat wriggling fish.
She picked up some dry firewood and by rubbing two sticks together she eventually made a fire.
With her bare hands she roasted the live fish. Although no condiments or seasonings were used, the cooked flavor was enjoyable beyond description.
While we were sharing the immensely enjoying feast, suddenly a shrill howling came from the bowels of the rain forest.
The mysterious girl’s expression changed abruptly. She stood up and grabbed the mat-awning we were sitting under, and started scanning the rain forest, her eyes full of anxiety.
What had happened in the rain forest? I would not let myself get nervous.
The mysterious girl lightly jumped up and then with light and graceful steps began to run wildly into the rain forest.
The place she was headed towards was the same place the shrill howl came from.
I followed behind her, and I unexpectedly discovered that the speed of my running had somehow increased from the time before I had entered the rain forest.
On the other hand, it really wasn’t so strange since I had already become one of the Alianya.
Just as we entered the rain forest, we saw the Alianya youths waiting fretfully for us.
What happened? Was the shriek we just heard made by them?
The Alianya youth didn’t say a word, but just silently turned his head. He faced the deep, secluded part of the rain forest; his face revealed he was deeply concerned about something.
Immediately, the mysterious girl became nervous.
What were they nervous about? I couldn’t help feeling apprehensive.
“Follow us!” The mysterious girl lead me by the hand and again we went deep into the heart of the forest running wildly.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
Without turning her head back to answer, the mysterious girl said: “We are going to the secret location of the spirit of the rain forest’s birthing place!”
Oh, the spirit of the rain forest; this time I was on the verge of meeting the mythical unborn spirit of the rain forest.
However, how can that screech be explained? Could it be that the greedy hunters have already intruded into the rain forest?
After passing through a portion of the rain forest crammed with plants, we stopped in our tracks on a slope in front of a Skygazer tree.
The mysterious girl pointed at the leaning Skygazer tree and said: “Follow me as I climb up to the crown of the tree; we are going to check out whether or not the tree is secure.”
She took the initiative in climbing up the Skygazer tree; I followed behind her, quick and lithely.
The mysterious girl’s shadow disappeared amidst the overgrowth of the Skygazer leaves, but I could yet still see a dark figure.
Suddenly my path became obstructed.
It was a figure dressed in black and he had a bald head; in his hand he aimed a crossbow at me, and on his face appeared a dark, fierce, sarcastic smile.
“Alianya, tell me: where is the spirit of the rain forest?” he coldly asked.
Suddenly, an edgy shrill whistle came from somewhere above my head.
I lifted my head but all I could see was a blue figure skim by me from the sky.
It was the blue-skinned Alianya youth; he was holding onto a vine and was swinging over to the leaning Skygazer tree.
Following with a scream, Alianya placidly dropped down beside me, and then with one hand pushed me aside.
I let him push me down the tree. As he lifted up his head, he coldly stared at the bald-headed man in the black clothes.
I know; he pushed me down the tree in order to save me from harm.
The bald-headed black suited thug unconsciously retreated backwards several steps in a row. The imposing manner of the youth had scared him somewhat.
The young man held up his crossbow and held it up to aim with a cold eye. In a stern voice, he shouted to the bald man to immediately get out of the rain forest and to stop coveting the treasure that lay within.
However, the Alianya people are kind and honest. The youth had made an oath; he would never use arrows dipped in poison and steal the lives of other people, even if it were evil people who were attempting to steal the spirit.
Faced with an arrow, the bald-headed black suited man couldn’t refrain from showing his fear. He timidly jumped off the tree trunk and buried his head in his hands as he ran away fleeing deep into the rain forest.
So it turned out that the evil person was lacking in self-confidence and when faced with righteousness could only choose to flee.
We couldn’t help but clap and celebrate our victory.
The feather arrow went through his chest and ripped open a seam of blood in it like a flower in bloom.
It was as though his heart was not willing; he couldn’t believe the world would go so far as to be this sinister.
The youth collapsed slowly onto the leaning Skygazer tree trunk.
There; that is the place where birds reside in their nests; nests in which birds use their beaks to carry back wild grass for their nests, and drop seeds inside holes in tree trunks.
If he is still able to grant himself good fortune, then into which next form will the Alianya youth reincarnate?
My heart could not help but be sad and cold.
The youth’s companion held his bleeding chest, and soundlessly sobbed.
Deep in my heart I silently told myself that this was necessary in order for the people of the rain forest to come and go on the circle of life, because there must be those that need to be reborn.
Afterwards, underneath the leaning Skygazer tree I picked up the fallen Alianya youth’s crossbow and was determined to get revenge.
However, the rain forest is vast and endless; where would I go to root out this evil bald-headed man clad in black?
As I was in the midst of all this haziness, the mysterious girl made her way gingerly next to me.
In a low voice she whispered to me: “To confront these evil people who will try in vain to destroy our rain forest, why don’t we use the power of the rain forest to destroy them?”
The power of the rain forest?
It was as if I had a kind of enlightened feeling.
In a soft voice the mysterious girl said into my ear, “Let all the creatures of the rain forest come and punish these bad people. Come still your heart, and with great detail listen respectfully to these many creatures’ calling. You are a person of a pure soul and heart, you can melt harmoniously together with them as one…”
According to her instructions, I calmed my heartbeat and spread out my two arms and silently using my soul I communicated with all the many creatures of the rain forest.
Truthfully, I could indeed hear each and every distant and dark call of the many creatures of the rain forest, every last cry and roar and whimper.
A portion of strong aura lingered within me. I felt as though I was floating in the air, and my whole body felt warm and foreign.
It seemed as though I knew what I had to do, thereupon I closed my eyes and concentrated. I silently prayed in my heart:
“All the creatures in the rain forest: you are to go punish these disgraceful wreckers!”
The mysterious girl grasped my hand, and together we ran off together towards the secluded part of the jungle.
Beside a small creek, we saw that bald-headed man struggling in pain. It wasn’t clear how but he had somehow gotten rolled up in a banana leaf. We could see he was packed in there tightly and that he was slowly being constricted.
The top of the bald man’s head was oozing sweat and his expression was very pained, but I nevertheless felt I was unable to express my joy.
The bald-headed man fell to the ground and the banana leaf plant immediately went limp. As if it possessed life and moved around like this normally, the banana leaf again wrapped itself around his head.
On the mysterious girl face was written an expression of nervousness, just like before. What was she nervous about? Of course, she was concerned about the pregnant rain forest and the unborn spirit of the rain forest and whether or not it was still safe and unharmed.
She led me by the hand again to return back to the leaning Skygazer tree.
Following the trunk of the tree, we went right to the end. And then there, with our eyes dancing about we were suddenly enlightened.
Right in front of us there emerged a gigantic Skygazer tree, both perfectly straight and enormously tall.
I looked up but could only see the ends of the tree branches, all floating in a halo of light.
Within the halo we could just see the form of a maiden with a coiled figure; her two hands were clasped about her knees, and she was in a deep slumber.
This was the spirit of the rain forest!
The mysterious girl told me in a sincere tone that within the egg of the spirit of the rain forest this unborn spirit was its god and protector.
The pregnancy of the spirit of the rain forest requires a period of a thousand years until it can finally break the shell of its egg and hatch. Just recently, these couple of days have been the final portion of the pregnancy.
Once she hatches and emerges, the world and all its creatures will heal and recover.
The Alianya people have served as the quick and plucky protectors of the egg; each generation they have stood on guard nearby and prevented any evil doers to come close.
As the spirit of the rain forest has been gestating within the egg, it could only be pregnant in the closest spot possible.
But because the environment has deteriorated, the plucky egg has continually relied on the spirit of he rain forest and its idea to relocate; so a few years back it has come to the Xishuangbanna tropical rain forest.
But, a million years have come and the clever spirit hunters have come, greedy for the spirit of the rain forest.
The evil people have started up their bulldozer and have gradually been encroaching upon the original rain forest.
The Alianya have been searching for a hero with a pure heart, and they see that person in me. Letting me traverse the sky corridor was their way of testing my courage.
When I had fainted they had transformed me into an Alianya and taught me all the skills required to survive in the rain forest.
And right now they need me to squeeze out a drop of blood from my fingertip and sprinkle it upon the plucky egg.
According to her instructions, I made a slit upon my hand.
A drop of fresh blood dripped upon the plucky egg.
And then something magical appeared before my eyes…
I had no way to describe it; at that moment all the words of the human language had their use forfeited in light of this phenomenon.
Right in front of my eyes was a lithe and graceful dancing spirit clad in white. She unhurriedly brandished her pure white wings.
She pursed her red lips to speak, and although the sound was low and delicate and she spoke a language I had never heard before, I nevertheless was still able to understand her without any problem.
She told us that if the shell of the spirit of the rain forest had been broken then all the creatures of the world would not recover completely.
All the people of the world need to alter their own notions and thoughts.
Wherever we lived we would ask for more; to that, it would retaliate all the more.
Although within these one thousand years the spirit of the rain forest had been inside the clever egg gestating, she still always had been paying close attention to the Earth.
Drought, mining disasters, earthquake, tsunamis, volcanic ash covering the sky and blocking out the sun, the hole in the ozone layer getting larger, global warming…
Whether or not the environment recovers or deteriorates all depends upon the hatching of the spirit of the rain forest; from a distance it is not enough.
We all need to let the “spirit of the rain forest” inside every person’s heart to awake and become aware!
I don’t know when but only then did I realize that the mysterious Alianya girl had already vanished without a trace.
And when the spirit of the rain forest came out, I unexpectedly felt that her features when compared with the mysterious girl were exactly one and the same.
What was this? Could it be that while the spirit of the rain forest was gestating her spirit had already overflowed out of the egg and from dark and obscure depths had been guiding me all along?
The spirit drew her wings together and faced me. After a small laugh, she quiet watched me attentively.
Under her gaze, I seemed to understand something.
Oh, I know now, I too am one of people of the world.
And I need to wake up.
Here in the rain forest I had this chance encounter with the Alianya people. With my own two eyes I have witnessed the marvel of the birth of the spirit of the rain forest, and from her own mouth have heard about the mysteries of nature.
However, not every person on Earth can get the kind of opportunity I have gotten.
The spirit of the rain forest definitely wants to express through my own words to let the “spirit of the rain forest” in everyone’s heart to awaken and become aware.
I know what I have to do now.
Once I get back to normal civilization, I must not spare any effort in publicizing this message and protect the last of the rain forest.
“If there is no rain forest, then there is no water. If there is no water, then there are no crops. If there are no crops, then there would be no humanity.”
The spirit of the rain forest spoke slowly.
But although these were obviously simple words, my hearing them was like achieving enlightenment.
I couldn’t help but hop atop the leaning Skygazer tree and give a shout.
But in that instant, I suddenly felt my body tremble. Then, I fell down from the tree trunk and landed in some some underbrush and then just like before, I fainted…
I slowly stirred awake and I discovered I was cold right to the bone. In the air I heard the sound of someone singing a song. Opening my eyes, I discovered I was lying in an open public square of some sort. I was surrounded by many villagers who were singing and dancing as they made their way towards me.
So, isn’t this the public square next to that pier when I first came here?
I was in the rain forest and I saw both the Alianya people as well as the spirit of the rain forest. Could it be that it was just a long and strange dream?
But why was this dream so real and life-life?
Seeing that I had regained consciousness, the singing and dancing girls and boys crowded around me. I could hear that they were singing a song praying for rain to fall on their village.
“If there is no rain forest, there is no water. If there is no water, there are no crops. If there are no crops, then there would be no humanity.”
Aren’t these the same words the spirit of the rain forest said to me underneath the Skygazer tree?
I couldn’t help but feel unsure about something.
Already, I had no way to distinguish between reality and a dream.
My body suddently started to shake for I saw standing in the middle of the beautiful girls someone I had just seen back in the rain forest; wasn’t that the “spirit of the rain forest”?
I wanted to stand up, but my two feet still lacked strength. I simply did not have the ability to move.
That beautiful girl could not help but smile.
Yes, I am confident; she is the mysterious girl of the Alianya people. Also, she is the “spirit of the rain forest,” just like in my dream!
What is this? A tribal emblem?
I suddenly discovered something right underneath my foot. Lowering my head, I saw that it was some kind of strange symbol.
I seem to remember the “Alianya” people wearing this exact symbol as a tattoo upon their foreheads.
Oh, I understand now; in fact, it was all not a dream.
Once I raised my head again, I saw the public square had become lonely and barren.
The beautiful girl could not be seen anymore, as well as all the singing and dancing people; it was just as though they had never appeared.
Again, I couldn’t tell the difference between fact and fiction.
I really wanted to let myself encounter it again so I could tell my friends back in the city.
From the ground I picked up the cell phone; when I flipped open the top, I could see on the screen inside two blue fingerprints.
Oh, I remember now; back in the rain forest when I discovered I had turned into Alianya, I had picked up the cell phone that was lying on the ground, still as before; then the mysterious girl had extended her arm and snatched it, running away.
Could it be that these two fingerprints were left by her?
No, this wasn’t a dream, these two fingerprints could prove everything.
However, unbeknownst to me, while I was staring at the fingerprints on the cell phone, from far away somebody was staring at me…
Thank you everybody for your continuing to pay close attention to this story. This story is completely devoted to all of you, and after this there will be shown a short video. We are intensifying our efforts to complete it. At that time everybody can see an even more complete story. Thank you everybody for your support!
At the pace of every two seconds in the tropical rainforest the equivalent of a soccer field disappears, and according to this rate within ten years all the rainforest on the planet will completely disappear…
And in China, unusual climate is also closely connected to the loss of forest vegetation …Do we continue sleeping, or do we wake up? Do we let things end? Or do we start something…?
End of story.
Oh yeah, also need to publicize our photography/film crew a bit, hehe…
This story and the images were posted part by part over one week between May 6 and May 13. Here are some “behind the scenes” photos that the poster included in between updates and after the completion of the story:
Comments from Tianya:
Talented, talented, truly talented. For you that is without peer, I prostrate myself at your feet.
Was Avatar really filmed at Xishuangbanna? If true, then we Xishuangbanna people are truly proud!!! Ding this up!!~~!
Didn’t you say there was also video?
Shanzhai, shanzhai! But still pretty impressive!
Lou zhu is truly talented, you did well!
I only want to know, was that naked girl really naked? [x12]
Really you have so much talent, ding ding ding!
The broad ain’t bad.
The main actresses tits are really big!
The lead actress seems to have exposed [her private parts], having a nosebleed [referring to self] …
In “Avatar”, they only have four fingers
Talented, the photography/filming and the make-up are both very professional.
How was that blue skin achieved?
Make-up or PS??
Requesting an answer!
The lead actress’s body is too amazing…Her’s is the kind of figure that definitely should be shared with others!!
I hate those small glowing things.
One of the funniest comments at the top of the comments section that I saw was…
“Great, now I can have a fake version of Avatar to play in my fake playstation 2 while talking on my fake iphone and using my fake macbook pro. Life in China gets better by the minute.”
Man, people come up with priceless stuff! 😀 This is brilliance.
Hrm… something happened to me the other day that made me ponder how judging someone hastily may end up costing yourself! Suffice to say, we all judge people immediately from the first time we see them to the last time we see them – but some judgments are more educated than others. On Tuesday, I had a day off and decided with nothing better to do, I joined my aunt, uncle and mom to lunch which they originally had planned. Since it was not a “formal gathering” I decided to dress simple (especially on a day-off where I don’t have to wear “work clothes”), a t-shirt and jeans. This is definitely a rare treat for me to be able to dress-down since other times I’m either in dress pants/dress shirt or at the very least, business-casual collared shirt w/ slacks or khakis. To be honest, I think in a way, I’ve grown out of dressing down, even by choice. Perhaps to me, I want to ensure I maintain a professional-look even on my “off days” because you never know who you may bump into, whether an existing or potential client.
Nevertheless, we had a lunch at a nearby family dining restaurant, one of our favourites because they have 5.49 lunch specials (Includes coleslaw, choice of potatoes and an entree)! We’re also regulars there, so we also get our VIP card “stamped” for a free meal on the 5th visit and as well we have a $5 off coupon on each of our visits (with minimum restrictions of course). After the meal, we decided we didn’t want to head home since I had a day off and our aunt/uncle had came all the way in from Mississauga, so we wanted to go wander around a nearby mall.
My mom enjoys walking at this mall every day because it is close-to-home and to her, all it matters is that it’s an “indoor mall” because she does it for her morning exercises and a place to have a muffin and coffee. We passed by one of her favourite jewelry stores. Recently, my side job has been providing me with some extra income so I thought I’d spoil my mom with something nice. We usually aren’t very picky with our salesperson, but out of all the ones available (about 5-6 on the front counter), we only knew 1 of them. I would hardly say we’re “regulars” but my mom goes into the mall a lot and is recognized by many of the employees there.
As I walked in, I noticed several salespeople who looked up and simply put their heads back down. It was very unusual because of the many times I’ve walked into this establishment, I’ve always been greeted and asked if I needed assistance. The lady who we usually deal with was busy with another customer and it isn’t like we “had” to talk to her, so any other person would’ve done. At that point, we didn’t have a plan of buying anything, but certainly, even random people who walk in to browse usually get a lot better treatment. Maybe it was the fact I wasn’t wearing a suit or “looked rich” and therefore received no attention. The lady who we normally dealt with saw us, smiled, waved and politely gestured that she was attending to another customer.
My mom peered into the displays as usual, checking out a variety of rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc. We looked from everything from the cheapie stuff (a couple dollars) to the more expensive thousand-dollar ones. Yes, I realize there are also diamonds which exceed the $10,000 amount, but it wasn’t like we were planning on buying those. My mom and I spent about 20 minutes looking at all the displays and all the salespeople just seemed to have ignored us. Suffice to say, it wasn’t like I was dressed “off the street” like a bum, unruly, dirty and smelly – I didn’t feel like having to “dress up” just to go for lunch.
The lady who we normally dealt with finished and she approached my mom and I. She looked around and thought it was weird that none of the other salespeople asked if we needed assistance. We explained the usual pleasantries and we said we were just browsing but would let her know if we wanted to see something out of the display case. The several times I’ve been to this shop, I had been looking at getting a bracelet for my mom since I had already gotten her a necklace, ring and pair of earrings. I always ask her why she doesn’t wear them, but she says she likes to save them for occasions and also because those accessories are easier to lose. She said a bracelet might be a bit easier to match with her clothing. I noticed this one…
It’s not “the best of the best” but I have been looking at it for a while. It was rather expensive at it’s original price of $750CAD, but was on sale so I asked my mom if she wanted me to buy it for her! It’s a nice 10kt yellow gold, but unfortunately the diamond wasn’t a full carat 😦 I did spot a 1 carat diamond ring, but she said she didn’t want me to spend that kind of money.
Actually, the last time I bought my mom something, I was also eyeing something for my girlfriend and you know what’s great about her? It’s the fact she doesn’t try to “compare” herself with my mom. I told her the one I thought that would look great on her wasn’t as expensive as the one I got for my mom, but she said it’s very normal for me to prioritize my mom over her. She also mentioned she wouldn’t be jealous if I had spent more on a present for my mom rather than her. She’s understanding and holds family hierarchy and traditional values tightly and that’s amazing. It’s very rare that you hear girls being so 大方 (generous attitude towards something). Honestly, one of the greatest pains about being a son when it comes to family is the fact he always has to be stuck in a position where he has to chose girlfriend/wife or mom. Something like that is the bane of every son in this world (with a living mother). Luckily for me, I can happily know (err.. hope) they won’t get into petty squabbles, because I care about both of them in different ways. In jest though, women always “say one thing and think another” so although she says she wouldn’t be jealous, I have a feeling if something like that happens in the future, I’m sure that night I’ll be sleeping on the couch 😆 HAHAHA.
Ah shit, back to the story. So trying to get service was pretty hard and you know, I’m used to walking into a store and being asked if I needed help. This has nothing to do with me being “high up” – it’s just that I dislike bothering people if they are engaged in other matters. I will usually wait for a salesperson who is free before I ask them something, whether it is in a jewelry store or the supermarket. The lady who went usually dealt with noticed that my mom and I were discussing whether we wanted it (in Chinese) and she came over asking us if we wanted to see something. My mom tried it on and she liked it, so we proceeded with the purchase. As the lady took it to the counter to perform the transaction and wrapped it up, all the other salespeople suddenly flocked over and asked us if there was more we needed assistance. Funny that just moments ago, they didn’t even bother to lift their heads and acknowledge our presence until we actually bought something. We received the bag and we happily left the store.
It’s interesting how we as humans often perceive people based on outward appearances. I will not say I’m one of the guys with impeccable tidiness or dress-for-success (when I go out casually), but I’m certainly presentable and clothed. I dress for the ocassion and I dislike it when people make the assumption of whether I look “fit to purchase something.” I suppose all the other salespeople didn’t bother serving us because I looked poor (not that I’m claiming to be rich either though) or even if I did buy something, it would be something cheap where it wouldn’t be worth their effort to serve us. In the end, we bought something that could easily equate to commission worth a full days of work or at the very least, half a days pay for your average household (in a matter of 30 minute serving us). I understand when it comes to serving customers, there are no guarantees they will buy something and many “experienced salespeople” will say they can spot those who are truly interested in browsing or ones who are actually buying. Maybe these people just weren’t experienced enough to spot us or perhaps a misjudgment on their part, but it was a foolish act because any other one of those salespeople could’ve been the one to win this transaction had they taken the time to even reach out their hands in assistance.
I learned this lesson at a young age, that it is a grave mistake to judge people too hastily. I remember when I went to meet one of my dad’s friend (we respectfully call our elder male friends “uncle” in Chinese relations) at a high-class hotel for lunch. We did not pick the place (since we’re not of that wealth-level) and I thought it was very awkward that when uncle arrived, he was dressed in some shaggy shorts, had sandals on and looked like he just got out of bed. I quietly whispered into my dad’s ear whether that is “actually the person we’re meeting” and sure enough, it was. It turns out this uncle owns about 3 buildings in Hong Kong and is a major shareholder across many 5-star HK hotels. What I also didn’t see was that he arrived in a personal limo, the CEO of the hotel came down to greet him and call him by name when he arrived and that all the workers bowed their heads and called him Mr. ____ as he walked by – all this, I did not see and could not fathom for a man who could easily pass as a guy who picked up cans off the street. From then on, it was a great lesson at a young age to not judge people by exterior means, unless you have something to back up those judgments. “Wealth” is not always something that can necessarily be seen either. As I was told by my dad later, uncle’s bank account balance more trailing 0’s (zeroes) than the number of holes I had on my belt.
The next time (especially for people involved with sales) you decide to judge someone based on exterior appearances, think again for they may have surprizes you don’t know about. Don’t overlook people until you have the facts!
This entry is definitely not “on-topic” of my blog theme, but after reading it, I really thought it was worthy of being posted. Please note that everything between the quotes have been dumped directly from the news article and I take no credit for the contents. A lot of the times, I consider my financial situation. I ask myself, am I making enough? Am I saving enough? Am I reducing my quality-of-life by being too frugal? If I spend more, does that equate to my happiness? Am I spending on the right things? Do I think too much before I spend? Do I have money for a rainy day? Am I truly keeping reliable spending records? Am I overestimating how much I really have available to use?
I’m sure I’m not the only person who thinks of these things on a regular basis. Suffice too say, I am not in a situation where I must watch every penny that goes out, but certainly, it is a wise thing to be wary of where a person spends their money. Unlike one point in my life, I know that earning money is quite difficult. Maybe for some, you can sit on your ass and money is being earned every second, but that is not the case for me. Every dollar I earn is from sweat, blood and tears (metaphorically).
Feel free to check out the original entry on MSN.CA by clicking on the link which I embedded into the title of the article below. This is amazing… I really wish I could live a comfortable lifestyle and only spend that much! Imagine how much money I could put away every year – sheesh. Right now, I’m pretty content with living within my means, but I always want to strive and become more efficient. After all, there’s always space for improvement!
By Liz Pulliam Weston, June 16, 2010
Meet three people who live on that amount (or much less) while following their dreams. They’re thrifty, sure, but also content.
The term “low-income” is usually a synonym for “poor.” But I just interviewed three people who wouldn’t use that word to describe themselves, even though they live on $18,000 a year or less — in two of the cases, much less — without going into debt.
Their ages are 25, 44 and 60. They’re all college-educated and have chosen to live frugally so they can pursue their own interests.
Their stories are relevant for a couple of reasons. First, they show what’s possible when you let go of consumerism and the hamster wheel of spending too much and then having to work to pay off your debts.
Second, their thrifty habits offer lessons on how you may wind up having to live if you don’t get cracking on building up your retirement savings. That figure, $18,000, is about what you’d get over a year if one were to draw average U.S. Social Security benefits (now about $1,200 a month) and tapped 4% of a $100,000 nest egg.
(Four percent is usually considered a “sustainable” withdrawal rate, meaning you’re unlikely to run out of money before you die. The $100,000 nest egg at retirement age may be a stretch for some; Employee Benefit Research Institute surveys indicate half of all U.S. workers have less than $25,000 saved (.pdf file).)
Here’s who these three frugal folks are:
Tyler Tervooren, 25. Until recently, Tervooren earned $56,000 a year as a construction manager. But he lives so thriftily in Portland, Ore. — his expenses are about $14,000 a year — that he was able to save the bulk of his salary. He’s now enrolled in a state program that allows people to collect unemployment benefits while they launch their own businesses — in Tervooren’s case, a blog called Advanced Riskology that encourages people to take more risks in their lives.
“Since I earned so much but spent so little, the amount of unemployment insurance I get covers all of my living expenses and actually allows me to still save a little bit,” Tervooren explained. “My savings cushion can support me for almost four years — (even) until I’m 30, if I need it to — before I have to start earning money again.”
Nancy Tudor, 44. Tudor earns about $10,000 a year from two part-time jobs, and she says it’s enough to meet her needs. She’s earned more in the past — she recently returned from a job teaching Renaissance history in London that paid about $30,000 a year — but prefers her simpler life in Albuquerque, N.M.
“I had the apartment overlooking the Thames and the flat-screen TV. It just felt really empty,” Tudor said. “I decided to come home to the desert and be a lot simpler.”
Carol Holst, 60. Once upon a time, Holst was married to a corporate executive and raising two daughters in Beverly Hills, Calif. When the marriage ended two decades ago, she turned down the court-ordered alimony, figuring she didn’t need the money but that he did.
“It would have reduced his lifestyle and wouldn’t have changed mine,” Holst said. “I’d still be living in a one-bedroom apartment in Glendale, and he’d be cursing me.”
Holst said she’s figured out how much is “enough” and lives happily on the $18,000 she nets from her part-time job as an office administrator. She enjoys the work but really likes the time it allows for her true passion, which is sharing what she’s learned about voluntarily simplicity. From the bedroom of her apartment, Holst runs the website Postconsumers.com, which promotes the idea that you don’t have to buy to be happy.
All three credit their parents for helping to instil the ideals of thrift and careful money management. Tudor also remembers grandparents who talked about the Great Depression and a prevailing ethic “that if you wanted something, you saved up for it.”
That includes education. Tervooren attended an in-state university with inexpensive tuition for residents, and he worked several jobs to pay for it. Tudor got a master’s degree on a scholarship that included student housing and a $1,000-a-month stipend, which was enough to cover her expenses and those of her now-grown daughter.
Tudor asked the girl, who was 6 at the time, to identify what was most important to her, explaining that they didn’t have money to buy everything they wanted.
“She wanted money to buy books . . . and to take dance lessons,” Tudor remembers. So Tudor carefully budgeted money to cover those expenses. Tudor believes that explaining their financial situation and soliciting her daughter’s input staved off demands for more stuff.
“She understood,” Tudor says. “It wasn’t ‘I want, I want, I want’ all the time.”
The three have other things in common that allow them to live, and save, on tiny incomes:
Cheap housing. Holst has a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Glendale, Calif., that costs her $780 a month. Tervooren shares a four-bedroom home with his girlfriend and four friends, splitting the $1,200 rent six ways. Tudor rents a room in a retired couple’s home, sharing the upstairs bathroom with another tenant, for $400 a month including WiFi and utilities.
By contrast, the typical single person spends $1,074 a month on housing, while couples spend an average $1,521 and families with kids spend $1,947, according to the latest Consumer Expenditure Survey of the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Renting is often a lot cheaper than owing, and sharing a home with other people can lower your costs still further. Homeownership is tough to pull off on a low income unless your mortgage is equally tiny or paid off. You also would need to be protected from big property-tax increases, either because home values don’t grow much in your area or because such taxes are capped, as they are in California. Even then, you have to find a way to pay for repairs and maintenance, which can total thousands of dollars a year.
Cheap transportation. Holst owns an 8-year-old, paid-for Prius that costs her about $1,500 a year, including insurance, maintenance and fuel. Tervooren has a 20-year-old pickup that he’s learned to maintain and repair himself, but he says he usually walks or bikes wherever he needs to go, spending less than $1,200 a year on transportation. Tudor doesn’t own a car and instead uses Albuquerque’s bus system.
By comparison, the typical American household spends $8,604 a year to finance, fuel, repair, maintain and insure a car or cars, according to the Consumer Expenditure Survey.
Cheap thrills. The three keep a handle on the other costs that tend to bust the budget, including clothing, technology and food. Clothes come from thrift stores, and all three cut their own hair. Holst has broadband Internet access and cable TV but no cell phone. Tervooren does without television.
“I make a hobby out of finding hobbies that I can do for free,” Tervooren said. That keeps him “from having any need for the distraction of a TV and its expensive cable service.”
Eating out is not a big part of the budget for the two women. Holst budgets $30 a week for food. Tudor spends even less — $99 a month — deducting the costs of dinners out from the total so she knows how much she has left to spend.
Tervooren’s spending on food — about $350 a month — is closer to the U.S. average spent by single people. He and his girlfriend take advantage of local theatre pubs that offer drinks, dinner and a movie for a reasonable price.
“I don’t try to cut a lot of costs on food,” Tervooren said. “I like it too much.”
The trio diverge in how they handle another budget buster for many U.S. households: health care.
Holst has health insurance through her part-time job but doesn’t have dental insurance; she budgets $1,000 a year for dental care. Tudor is lucky enough to live next to a teaching university, which offers dramatically discounted health care to low-income residents.
“A visit to the doctor costs $5. A visit to the emergency room costs $25,” Tudor said.
Tervooren had health insurance at his job, but now goes bare and hopes he doesn’t get sick. It’s a risky choice, because one accident or illness could result in crippling bills.
You may not want to live like these folks, but you could still learn a few things from them. Such as:
* You’ve got to know where the money is going. All three know exactly how much they spend on housing, utilities, transportation, food — you name it. Their money doesn’t slip through their fingers but instead is carefully and consciously deployed. Tracking what you spend is a great way to become conscious about your money and whether your spending reflects what you really want most from life.
* A lot of the costs we think of as “fixed” really aren’t. If you want to improve your finances in the long run and save more for retirement, then consider reducing big expenses like housing and transportation.
* Debt can be a trap. A moderate amount of home or student loan debt can help you get ahead, but those who want to live on less tout the importance of being debt-free so they’re not shackled to payments. At the very least, you should be getting rid of your toxic debt, such as credit card balances, because they erode your financial well-being.
* A lot depends on your attitude. I emerged from these interviews with a big smile on my face. These three people were so delighted with their lives — and excited about the future — that it was positively contagious. I don’t think I’ll ever live on as little as they do, but knowing how happily they do so makes the prospect of living on a shoestring a lot less scary.
These deals are only applicable to select regions of Canada, Ontario. Please verify these sales against your local flyer or e-flyer before purchase!
I’ve been hunting for (Original) Kotex sales for a while now… still only 2 so far and it isn’t really a “great deal”… I suppose 2.50/ea @ SDM is not too bad if I buy two. Guess I’ll check it out, see what they have and perhaps get some! The stock is running low, don’t want to let it hit rock-bottom 😛
Pharma Plus and Rexall Chains
Assorted Always Maxi Pads, Kotex Maxi Pads/Liners, Stayfree Maxi Pads, Carefree Liners, Tampax Tampons and O.B. Tampons 2 for $6.99
Assorted Playtex Gentle Glide (36’s) and Sports Tampons (36’s) for $8.49
Assorted Always Maxi Pads/Liners and Tampax Tampons for $6.99
Assorted “U” by Kotex Maxi Pads/Liners/Tampons Jumbo Boxes for $7.97
Assorted “U” by Kotex Maxi Pads (14-18’s)/Liners (50-60’s)/Tampons (18’s) for $4.29
Shoppers Drug Mart
Assorted Kotex Maxi Pads (14-24’s)/Liners (33-48’s) 2 for $5.00 [Limit 4, Sat/Sun/Mon .. or $3.29/ea for rest of the week]
Assorted Playtex Gentle Glide (18’s) and Sports Tampons (18’s) for $3.99
Assorted O.B. Tampons (40’s) and Stayfree Maxi Pads (28-48’s) for $7.99
I was about to go to sleep after checking out weekly flyers and didn’t see anything impressive… that is until I went to check out the Walmart (Canada) flyer. Yes, it does deserve a post on its own!
Of course these are just to smaller packs and not the huge jumbos you normally get from Walmart or Costco, but geebus, 4 for $8 and you can mix-and-match, perfect for those who buy an assortment of pads or tampons to suit their needs. For the girls and the flow-lovers, now’s the time to stock up 😀 Of course…. Kotex is not on sale >_> so I’m not buying anymore Stayfree since I’ve had them for the past months already!
These deals are only applicable to select regions of Canada, Ontario. Please verify these sales against your local flyer or e-flyer before purchase!
Seems to be very few sales this week, good thing my girls or I need to buy any lately, or else this week would suck! Hopefully sales get better in the following weeks when we need to top-up stock 🙂
Pharma Plus and Rexall Chains
Assorted Always Maxi Pads, Kotex Maxi Pads/Liners, Stayfree Maxi Pads, Carefree Liners, Tampax Tampons and O.B. Tampons for $2.99
Always Infinity (12-18’s), Always Clean Maxi Pads (12-18’s) and Tampax Pearl Tampons (18-20’s) for $4.99
Assorted Rexall Brand Maxi Pads (14-24’s) and Rexall Brand Pantiliners (36-48’s) for $2.49
Fortinos and RCSS Chains
Assorted O.B. Tampons (40’s) for $5.49
Assorted Always Maxi Pads/Liners (12 – 72’s) and Tampax Tampons (12 – 72’s) for $5.99
I figured with the amount of work required to extract each picture from flyers, it is best to simply provide the sale information each week. Also, I will be merging eBay deals into the same post to conserve posting space.
These deals are only applicable to select regions of Canada, Ontario. Please verify these sales against your local flyer or e-flyer before purchase!
Shoppers Drug Mart
Assorted Kotex Maxi Pads (14-24’s) and Liners (33-48’s) for $1.99
Double-Pack Tampax Cardboard Applicator Tampons with 5-bonus Tampax Compak Tampons for $7.59
Double-Pack Always Maxi Pads Super or Overnights with 3-bonus Always Infinity Pads for $7.59
Assorted Tampax Pearl Tampons (36’s) or Always Infinity Pads (32’s) for $8.00
Pharma Plus and Rexall Chains
Assorted Always Maxi Pads (24-36’s) or Liners (68-120’s) or Tampax Tampons (40’s) for $6.99
Playtex Gentle Glide Tampons (36’s) for $8.99
Assorted Kotex Maxi Pads (14-24’s) and Liners (40-48’s) for $3.29
Lot of 13 New StayFree Maxi Regular *312* Pads Total
Current Price: $0.99 as of this posting
POISE PADS 168 LONG MAXI ULTRA + CASE BLADDER CONTROL
Current Price: $34.99 as of this posting
And also, found a great deal via thanks to Smartcanucks community @ Always and Tampax Samples…
Samples provided by Beinggirl