Friday, May 01, 2009

FBO: 'Travel Journals & YYYs'

Once the Gilder and Franc and Lira rolled into the euro, European travel became a lot less interesting. But there's always been shopping for stationary products. I love picking up locally made journals, oddly covered spirals and whatnot from shops when I travel. It's a key way I fill that space between meals on the road, and I liked having my journal itself linked with a part of my trip too. But it's becoming harder, I've noticed in recent years, as shops in Vladivostok, Plovdiv, Bogota and Danang seem to carry the same imports these days: imported Chinese cheapies with cartoon covers, or nicer -- but not too nice -- Italian ones.

Top 2 Notebook Purchases
My favorite notebook-procuring experience was a few years ago in Shumen, Bulgaria, where a snappy older woman insisted on the color of the of my belezhnik (notebook), a sickly yellow. When I returned two years later, alas, the store had become a trashy boutique selling neon purses.

Runner-up was in a walk-up stationary stand in Batambang, Cambodia, where I waited and waited behind a monk agonizing over which pen to get -- testing out several, then chatting a bit. It gave me plenty of time to consider my options, and the eventual winner: a tiny maroon one that read 'PP Book.'

In other news
The new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album It's Blitz! is excellent -- the 'deluxe' version has acoustic/orchestral versions of four songs, better than the 'full-on' ones on the regular album. The album also manages to make a statement in the postage-stamp space iTunes affords with its striking album cover of a hand-crushed egg.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

No comments: