Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My love affair with Jim Thompson

This one's for you, Abby and Danielle!

I find fibers just yummy. Put me in a room with textiles and yarn and I am in heaven.

One of the things I just had to do this trip was go to the Jim Thompson House Museum. It's one of the best-preserved traditional Thai houses in Bangkok and one of the finest museums in Thailand. Thompson, an American architect and entrepreneur, is credited with reviving the art of Thai silk weaving. He came to Thailand in 1945 and later on dismantled six teak houses in Northern Thailand and reassembled them in central Bangkok. The house is antique-filled and his art collection spans 14 centuries. Sadly, he disappeared on Easter Sunday in 1967 while in Malaysia and has never been found.

Jim Thompson's Thai Silk Company, however, is alive and well. It has retail shops all over Thailand and even a few abroad now. They are even available at the San Francisco Design Center. After the house tour we took a tuk-tuk over to the flagship store and I demonstrated amazing self-restraint. (As I type this I think Dave has probably looked at our VISA bill online and dismissed the charge as a warm up.) In reality, I probably would have spent more $$ had the strangest thing not happened there. While on the fourth floor, in the bedding and furniture section, a 6 or 7-year-old boy was jumping on one of the display beds. His father was yelling at him to get down and his mother was chasing their other son around the room. The child loved the attention and kept jumping. The reserved and horrified Thai staff looked on in shock. I toughed it out for just a short amount of time before heading down the stairs. Even I can't shop in those conditions.

In the scarves department, a floor below, I was making my purchase when the child appeared again. He was solo this time and was entertaining himself by hurling himself over the stair railing and jumping from one floor to the next, a drop of about 10 feet, to the landing. I've never seen anything like this in public.

Neeracha and I got out of there pretty fast.

1 comment:

Paris said...

I'm glad you're having fun.