404 posts tagged gypset
#properlife #bondvoyage Southeast Asia Non-Anonymous I (Dec 1-5) | NEW POST
4 Countries/3 flights/4.5 days. What day is it again? Lol. Today calls for a “cliffs notes” length of an account, but let’s start from the beginning.
I’m in Johor Bahru Malaysia (Dec 5-6) for the
I’ll be moderating a panel/dialogue today (yes, it’s Wednesday here already)
Branding and Integrity in the Arts
The Artists here for the event are “hands-down” amazing. The event is produced by a Chicago colleague and friend (former Director of Arts and Culture at Inner-City Muslim Action Network - IMAN) Asad Jafri.
To make the most of the multiple connections for my flight, I decided to make rounds on behalf of my company and clients in Kuala Lampur, Singapore, and Tokyo. I’d been hearing so many things about the art scene in SE Asia, and of course loved my time in Tokyo. Asad’s Instagram had me “hooked”, I at least wanted to maxamize the opportunity for some visual inspiration as well.
In the creative industry, inspiration is a form of currency.
I booked my flight in the most INDIRECT manner you could possibly imagine for a 10 day trip
Chicago —>Atlanta —>Tokyo —> Singapore —> Car to take me to Johor Bahru —> Kuala Lampur —> Singapore —> Tokyo —> Minneapolis —> Chicago
This would also allow for “breaks” in travel to get the mass amount of work done that is due this week. Crazy simple right? Or just crazy. Jury is still out on that ;o).
I left Chicago Saturday after an awesome Streets meeting at IMAN, and stayed overnight in ATL after a meeting with a pretty awesome band. Atlanta on a Sunday morning headed to the airport was jus BEAUTIFUL. Warm, sunny, my host was absolutely the epitome of “southern hospitality”. After an unusually “breezy” check in (did I mention for this entire trip I only have a duffel, computer tote, and a purse? YES me.) I arrive to the gate and boarding to a surprise. And not in the “You’ve won” way. My flight from Atlanta to Tokyo had mechanical issues, and has to be grounded/delayed. Now this is the second-time I’ve had a plane with mechanical issues within 45 days. Honestly, my position is “better on the ground than in the air”, but here’s the kick: this meant I missed my connection in Tokyo to Singapore. Now here’s where perspective kicks in: Business Class, cozy, veggie cuisine, movies, off to an awesome place, with a wrench totally lodged in my schedule. I was already “pushing-it” with the current schedule, now I would miss a full day of the conference and the national dinner/gala with the Prime Minister. Not to mention this would equate to arriving the DAY OF my panel.
I arrived to Tokyo, and once the missed flight was confirmed, I began searching quickly for any one-way I could find to Singapore that night. “Why not just take an early flight in the am?” You may ask. Well, that’s because there wasn’t one. My carrier only had one flight per day to Singapore, and it was at 6:55pm the next day. With a 7-hour flight due after that, you do the math. Those one-way last-minute airline prices were simply comical. Over three-thousand dollars? One was ten-thousand. WHO PAYS THAT? I thought there was some type of clerical error, or maybe the price needed to be converted lol. Anyway, after two hours of searching, I knew this meant one of two things
Sleep in Airport < Sleep in Hotel, Home, or Hostel
I don’t really like to inconvenience people at the last minute, plus it was super late. I found a bangin’ hostel two stops from the airport. I had 10 minutes to get some Yen, re-crash course in some Japanese to make a reservation , and make the last train leaving Narita International Airport (no cell phones on trains, and the last one was leaving for the night). Can you say T.hank G.od F.or F.lat S.hoes?
Keisei Line to Cabstand. Cab to hostel. Up four flights of stairs. Boots off. Quiet. Pay. Lie down. Deep Breath.
I took a few calls and sent a few messages for/to clients, etc. After a quick “check-in” with my body (still healing from a severe upper-respiratory infection/walking pneumonia I contracted right after Thanksgiving) I knew no-matter what it was time to rest.
A few hours later, it was time to get back to work. I’d made plans to meet a friend Fumiko in Harajuku for lunch. In order to do that, I really needed to make a “dent” in some tasks.
Even with a converter, does anyone else pray when they plug their Apple laptop and/or iPhone into a foreign socket?
I always plug my phone in first and wait a few minutes, JUST in case. I walked out into the lobby/common area, and made myself a few cups of tea. I SAVOR the tea in Asia. Even the store bought, packaged teas are divine. Rather than overwhelm myself all morning, I took an hour to sit by the window, and take in my surroundings. Little trinkets, floral, magazines and tourist guides. CNN was on, but (le sigh) props and propaganda.
I found myself chatting with another American, and somehow we ended up talking about why he was looking for work AFTER moving to Japan. He’d had a horrible breakup/had been used for citizenship by his wife after a 14 year marriage, and she left him after they returned to Japan. A little heavy for “getting to know you” chat, but I could tell he was REALLY sad/lost, and his heart was completely broken. I didn’t ask a bunch of questions, I didn’t offer advice. I offered the idea of taking back power and life in the situation through responsibility and love of self. He seemed hopeful. We spent a few minutes on that, and I prepared to be on my way.
You never know why you are placed somewhere at a particular time. I don’t argue with the universe.
On my way to Harajuku, I meet the most lovely of Aussie young newlyweds from Brisbane on the train platform. Besides a few people from Australia that CLEARLY have never been to America nor encountered an American a day in their life (much less an American of color), I love my Aussies. They had a light around them, SO starry eyed and fresh, you could see the possibilities and wonder in their eyes as they were all over each other as conservatively as they could be. Speaking of trains, I have a tendency to be a source of pure intrigue and entertainment to Japanese children. As much as their parents attempt to restrain them, they stare at my face, try to sneak “touches” of my hair, wraps, and clothes. They even try to speak to me at times with their limited English or Japanese (which is TRULY unorthodox by comparison).
Yesterday was no different. That is all.
After a great lunch with my friend and meeting a few people in Harajuku about some opportunities in the city, I was reminded why I once wanted to live in Tokyo (prior to the earthquake). The intense energy and creativity, yet tradition, organization, and precision permeates every aspect of the culture there (you can LITERALLY set your watch to the trains in Tokyo). It agrees with me.
Time to go.
I make it to the airport, to discover I was in the wrong terminal. While on the bus to the next terminal, I help an American woman with her suitcase on her way to Shanghai. That conversation? All to be revealed. All I can say is I am SO grateful.
You never know why you are placed somewhere at a particular time. I don’t argue with the universe.
I sit for a moment in the airport and drink tea. “Check-in” once more, and it’s time to board. This time, Business Class felt the way it should. Good. My body needed to be horizontal for awhile, that’s for sure. I make it to Singapore, and immediately notice the difference in how different countries in Asia interpret the appropriate commercial christmas tree decor. Not that it makes a bit of difference to me, but it was still interesting.
Immigration. Customs. Driver arrives. Send tests and e-mails. Border checks. Hotel. Check in. Unpack. Breathe. Check emails. Adjust Calendar.
It’s almost time for breakfast here, and I have a bit of work to do. The kettle is on as I type ;o). I’m SO AMPED about today, let’s go! I’ll check-in again soon, in the meantime, follow my instagram and/or Twitter. All great things are now.
Color me humanae! Thx again @AngelicaDass 4 inviting me 2 be a part of this beautiful project. #art #photography #properlife
#properlife Saturday I met and sat for the Brazilian artist & photographer Angelica Dass @angelicadass at @expochicago. Cool project! http://humanae.tumblr.com/ #art #ExpoChicago #Chicago
#properlife Yesterday was Frida Kahlo’s 105th birthday. Loves her. Who is going to visit her house today in Mexico? *points at self*. #amped
So Lady @ChakaKhan is preforming at Taste of Chicago again this year? Sweet! #Loveher #Loveit #properlife
Just a thought. lol #bookicide
Gløbetrøtter Magazine : Issue 1.1
Who’s That Lady?: Meeting Phylicia Rashad
I LOVE Phylicia Rashad.
Last night, I went to a preview of her stirring new play "Immediate Family" (which she directed) at the Goodman Theatre. It was followed by an insightful Q & A. What impressed me most of all? You guessed it, Phylicia Rashad herself.
She is so authentic and poised, calculated and never rushed. As her counterparts were urging her through the crowd, she politely looked at each individual, made direct eye contact, and expressed her sincere gratitude. “Thank you. You’re Welcome. Thank you for coming.” She was so calm, it was almost as if she was floating (hence the comment I posted on Twitter).
It was clear that with the three generations of people in the auditorium, each group had their own fond memories of her. For me, it was initially as Mrs. Huxtable (of course). Not just because of the television show, but because she actually looks and dresses (still) just like my own mother. Sharp, calculated, and kind. After speaking with her, I’m not so certain if Mrs. Huxtable was too much of an “act” at all. She is truly a gem. Still gorgeous? Absolutely. Filing this in my “Best Day Ever” category alongside meeting Michael Jackson and visiting the Taj Mahal.
She’s as authentically “proper” as it gets. #properlife