Last day in Amsterdam: visit to Foam Amsterdam; Daisuke Yokota’s incredibly thought-provoking installation; skipped Eggleston because it’s about as interesting to me as David Hockney (NOT); how Dutch houses have slanted facades and hooks on the roof for hoisting furniture into the house, rather than using the stairs, because they are so narrow; Gavin Turk’s curated exhibition at the Van Loon Museum is disappointingly prosaic and mediocre; I mean, REALLY uninspired; our first lunch in Europe EVER without alcohol: was it too salubrious? Do we really need a museum dedicated to handbags? A last cocktail at The Dylan; stocking up on smoky fish at Schipol; Amsterdam recap notes (various).
Day 2 in Amsterdam: Tulipmania was a bubble, just like China real estate; instead of tulips, we now have manias about gym shoes and handbags; I like Amsterdam because there’s no culture of conspicuous consumption; I’ve successfully avoided all global chain stores — so far; I take the train to Delft; the train is incredible: every city worth seeing is on the same rail line; tulip fields on the way to Delft; it’s shitty weather; the Oude Kerke (old church); Delft is adorable, especially since there are no H&Ms or Zaras; lunching in Delft at De Waag as John explains his Mooie IPA; the old city gate; after 4 hours, we end the day at The Dylan, over cocktails, including their namesake cocktail created in honor of both Dylan Thomas and Bob Dylan; I didn’t record as many stories as I would have liked because it bugs the crap out of John; although Amsterdam has no sights of spectacular, defining aestheticism, the overall quality of everything is really high; consequently, there are few mainland Chinese tourists.
Daily vlog diary: Shopping and strolling in Amsterdam; bicyclists trump cars in Amsterdam and that means, watch out for them! Amsterdam — especially its dining and eating scene — is one of the birthplaces of global, urban hipsterism; it’s worth doing a video handbook about that topic — tongue-in-cheek, of course; Keukenhof (see full vlog on my visit); Keukenhof is a giant photo opp, especially for Asians; one of the main reasons to go is to get inspired for your own garden; huge rabbits on steroids at Keukenhof; more than anything, Keukenhof is very commercial; my visit to the Stedelijk museum without John; boy, it’s an ugly building; main mission: to see the Jordan Wolfson exhibition, even if I can’t see the crazy animatronic sculpture; how I visit museums as a rule; Jordan Wolfson (various shots of the video artworks without audio); I didn’t understand all of that art exhibition; SO I’M SAYING SO — OUT LOUD; but I still got a lot of out of it; there are no fat people in Amsterdam; Jansz – glamorous and dramatic; clothes for kids which are inexplicably, ineffably weird and unwearable; “Sino-Japanese” – whoever coined that clearly has neither Chinese nor Japanese friends.
Daily vlog diary: Erin Janus’ indictment of the dairy industry is a social media tour de force highlighting the power of video but it is too ideologically biased to take seriously. It’s my belief that animals should be subordinated to humans. Therefore, I can’t take arguments (like Janus’) against industrial food production predicated on the anthropomorphization of animals seriously; the power of Janus’ messaging style partially explains the effectiveness of Trump’s messaging; Bravo: EasyJet has almost eliminated the use of human agents at check-in; hipster design tropes have percolated into mainstream culture; airport retail is a great example of why shopping today sucks; immigration at Schipol took as long as the entire flight; many Amsterdam taxis are Teslas; we arrive at our Airbnb but there’s no one waiting for us; catastrophe averted – but not before John suggested returning immediately to England; pretty postcards from Amsterdam; last but not least: I was impressed to hear that McDonald’s is now asking job applicants to submit Snapchat footage along with their resumes.
Daily vlog diary: Actually, I know a ton about SEO; But I’m very ambivalent about digital marketing because numbers have usurped the rightful role of senior managers — and their hard-won decades of experience and wisdom; numbers must not, should not dominate decisionmaking, especially when it comes to creativity and entrepreneurial risk-taking; even the luxury industry is being subverted by accountants and statisticians; young people especially tend to put too much stock in numbers; Henry Ford would never have invented the automobile, only a faster horse and carriage, had he been looking at historic sell-through reports only; numbers are the single greatest headwind for creativity today; technology sucks: we feel endlessly busy; kids are so ahead of parents these days, especially my own son (praise god!); SEO is not about technocratic knowledge: it’s about time commitment; today’s SEO tools are so well designed that a monkey can optimize a website (well, not exactly… but close — if you use WordPress); no one steals American passports any more; I feel physically uncomfortable when making “nice”, pretty, happy content; just as well, since the last thing the world needs is more posts of girls saying, “look at my pretty dress”.
Daily vlog diary: I’m sure I will die soon after my husband dies; psyched that my public posting about the art gallery dispute has led to a lot of helpful advice — and, now, intervention; why I reposted a video about a purely hypothetical planetary scenario (see Instagram post of 8 April with the planet image if interested); I feel like Cassandra in comparison; I played tennis for the first time in a LONG time; TULIPS; we take the basic quality of our food for granted; in Hong Kong, most vegetables contain lead, cadmium and mercury; the Grand National was unbelievably exciting; My vlog content leaves me scratching my head plenty — but I still have to make it.
Daily vlog diary: Kippers for breakfast – they’re nasty-looking as hell but scrumptious; my cousin, Yang May Ooi, a published novelist and all-around, left-wing kick-ass multi-hyphenate is writing a play called Butterfly in Blue Jeans to upend the sort of race-gender stereotypes enshrined in works like Madame Butterfly; having your own domain gives you much more control over my content; one of my huge life-hacks is purposeful procrastination without stress; I just filed a 500 word feature article — right before the deadline — but there’s a hitch; seeking advice to recover monies wrongfully withheld by an art gallery from my friend, an artist (with a huge social media following no less); I’m posting about this mess so that the offending art gallery can see and hear about it before a lawsuit is commenced; Louise cooks up a groaning repast.
Daily vlog diary: The economic tax of slow internet in the countryside; until now, I’d taken high speed broadband for granted and considered it a god-given right; what it means to be an artist – not that I’m a good one, of course; my son, Sam, helped me realize that I have an obsessive, nearly pathological artistic need to vlog; it’s quite possibly the most liberating thing that’s ever happened to me as an adult; now, I don’t worry about being popular or building a following and just follow sheer personal conviction; my biggest life-hack is religiously reading The Week; my first visit to London Chinatown; my cousin, Yang May, talked about her upcoming play, Butterfly in Blue Jeans, at China Exchange; Asians are probably the biggest users of Dettol in the world. All my cousins had a bottle in their handbags and one cousin was wearing her Dettol on the outside; home in time to enjoy a cocktail with John and Patrick.
Daily vlog diary: Felled by jetlag; changing my style of posting Instagram stories to Mark Suster’s Snapstorms style – a single continuous thoughtstream; but I’m still going to make random, silly, personal story posts – of course! The joys of trawling dealer antique shows; my finds there à la Antiques Roadshow; antiquing is similar to museum-going in today’s day and age – consumerism and material culture prior to plastic and mold injection manufacturing.
Daily vlog diary: Now safely ensconced back home in the countryside; today’s publishing is mostly mercenary and in the pocket of advertisers, but not in-flight magazines; internet in the countryside blows; that’s why they sell DVDs at grocery stores in the countryside; vlog attempt (to explain why Vikings smashes pernicious female stereotypes) defeated – but only for today.