What do you do when you wake up at 4AM because you’re too effin’ jetlagged to get even one more second of sleep? You get out of bed and blog! I got back last night from an epic one-week trip to Guangzhou and Hong Kong and my mind is still reeling. So many things to process – big stuff, trivial stuff and everything in between. I’ll tell you all about it when the time is ripe. But let me tell you this: If there is one item that symbolizes the whole experience that was China, I guess it is a pair of orange sunglasses.
Obsessed – OBSESSED I TELL YOU! – with orange sunglasses
Yup, you reade that right. I went to China and all I can think of is a pair of orange sunglasses. I met someone very cool who wore them at a party and I was totally smitten. By the glasses that is, not the person wearing them. I tried to suss out who designed them but because we were at a pretty loud party the only thing that I could barely make out is that they were new. And now that I think about it, an orange hearing aid might be a more practical obsession to have at this particular stage in life, but there you have it.
After arriving in Hong Kong, I figured I’d try and find said orange sunglasses. After all, Hong Kong was supposed to be a world-class shopping destination so what could go wrong, right? In preparation for the hunt, I had Googled for ‘orange sunglasses’ and had found out that the object of my affection was an SS10 collaboration between House of Holland x Linda Farrow. Oh and talking about ‘x’ – is that still a thing?
Now, by fashion standards I guess SS10 sits in that awkward place between ‘too recent to be vintage’ and ‘too old to be cool’. And in case you’re reading this in the distant future – a) it’s September 2016 as I write this and b) did Donald Trump lose the election? But I digress. The only place I could reasonably find a new pair of said orange sunglasses was at Hong Kong’s Temple Street Night Market – aka the seventh circle of shopping hell. I waded through stall after stall filled to the brim with fake Gucci floral totes, fake Lego, fake fake Lego and yes, even fake dildo’s – but alas, no the fake orange sunglasses that I wanted so much were nowhere to be found. I was far away, yet oh, so close.
Thing morning I decided to continue the hunt on the internets. I’m very tenacious about this sort of thing and I wish I could get equally energized about all the things in life that are more important than orange sunglasses (ie the other 99.999999999 per cent). I started out with my dad’s favorite Chinese store banggood.com and then moved on to aliexpress.com. And lo and behold, there they were! From two different suppliers no less. The hunt was over. Call back the hounds. I was done. Now obviously they are fake so for now I’m thinking of arguments that are going to use to persuade myself to actually buy them. For now the best one is ‘the originals are no longer on the market anyway’ – but still, I’m not sure I’m convinced. What do you think?
Koryu Minatoya aka the Japanese one-woman musical
Time for a little secret. I love to fall asleep with the TV on, especially when I’m staying at a hotel. The night before I flew back home from Hong Kong, I drifted in and out of sleep with the soothing voices of NHK World. At one point, I woke up and heard a voice that was a little less soothing, but intriguing nonetheless. I opened my eyes and spent the next half hour totally mesmerized by a documentary about one of Japan’s most beloved singers of Rokyoku – which is a genre of narrative singing that was very popular there in the first part of the twentieth century.
Unfortunately, the documentary – which is called 70 Years of Wandering – is not available online but I did manage to find a video of the singer. Her name is Koryu Minatoya and she is my new heroine. So sit down, relax and watch her basically do a one-woman musical. And if you’re in a hurry, skip to the part where Master Koryu starts singing – it’s pure rock and roll.
UPDATE – OMG NHK have done it! 70 Years of Wandering is now on YouTube in all its glory. You’ll laugh! You’ll cry! And I guarantee you – you’ll LOVE it!
Oh, and what about architect Paul Rudolph?
For the memory of a lifetime…Rekall, Rekall, Rekaaall! I had to think of Total Recall every time I walked past Hong Kong’s Lippo Centre. Need I even explain why? Both Total Recall and the Lippo Centre are late Eighties masterpieces that were ahead of their time. And I mean way ahead.
I spent some time this morning finding out all about Paul Rudolph, the architect of Lippo Centre. And as you can see, there’s tons of cool stuff to be dug up if you’re into brutalist architecture like me. I particularly loved these two photo’s on The Architects Newspaper. True interior design porn, right? I need a cigarette now!