Lynnette and I met up on Saturday afternoon to visit Moca at People’s Park for the Finnish Radical Design Week. We had to brave through the weekend marriage market. This time, there were tents set up with professional matchmaking agencies peddling photos and parents discussing, selecting and arranging blind dates. There was also a special corner for overseas candidates, i.e. parents whose children now reside overseas are seeking mates for them. There was even a special booth for Singapore! That just goes to show how many Chinese there are in Singapore. Lynnette and I had a fine idea of being brokers for these lonely souls. But first, Moca and Finnish design.
Upon arrival, we found out that it was a paid exhibition. So we glimpsed the first floor exhibits, which were columns of fabric printed with Marimekko‘s design. There was one I really like featuring an elephant with zebra stripes with a pelican walking beside it into the orange (background) African sunset. There were some other pretty prints as well, but we finally decided that it wouldn’t be worth our money to see the entire exhibition. So we walked out the front door.
There was a ruckus waiting for us as we exited. Many men and women had formed a chain. Then huge colorful balls were passed down the human chain.
It took us a minute to realize they were bean bags, all printed with Marimekko’s design, most of which very beautiful and would look most at home, in our homes of course. It didn’t take long before we were in the midst of a colorful ocean.
More balls came in – large, middle and small (like a beach ball!) – Lynnette and I had the ball of a time identifying our favorite bags and scheming an escape with them. Too bad, security was abound, the only thing we made away with was the knowledge that these were where that night’s VIPs would be seated when the Marimekko fashion show happened.
Lynnette, who has had experience dealing with Finnish clients, was almost sure that these beautiful balls would be the door gift for the guests. Lucky people.
Finally realizing that we didn’t have a chance to make away with one of these, we decided to head to Lynnette’s house where two other friends would be waiting. They’re Lynnette’s friends but I’m meeting them for the first time. One was Zhao Can, an interaction designer from Shenzhen who was now in the midst of arranging for further studies in Australia. The second friend was Laura, a manager from IDEO.
We all had dinner at Lynnette’s – food that we packed on the way home – cheap and yummy. Desserts were tiramisu and cakes provided by Laura. I had brought delicious butterfly pastry from the famous bakery at Park Hotel but we decided to leave it till later after our ‘Expo Site walking Tour’. It was warm last night so it was a really nice walk with these friends.
We bade Lynnette goodbye just shy of 10 pm before the trains stopped running. On the train, Laura and I talked about weddings in China and America (she was headed home next month for a friend’s wedding, and I was reminded of CiCi’s stint as a bridesmaid today at her friend’s wedding). According to CiCi, her friend has paid RMB70,000 for the wedding planner, another RBM6,000 for the photographer, a few thousands for the beach where the wedding would be held, a few tens of thousands for the dinner, bridal gown, gifts for guests, etc … so freaking expensive! Hopefully, they can offset some of these costs with the red packets (hongbao) friends and relatives would give them when they attended the wedding.
I asked Laura what it was like in the States, do people give gifts or money. She said the current trend is for couples to announce their honeymoon plans and friends/relatives can sponsor some parts of it (flight, accommodation and such), since many couples are already living together so it didn’t make sense to give them household appliances or furniture anymore. I thought that was really cute. It’s like taking the whole friend/family circle on a virtual honeymoon with the couple, like everyone is giving their best in making the honeymoon the happiest and most memorable for the newly weds.