Last week I went to see the play The Guru of Chai which I thoroughly enjoyed. Its sarcastic premise debunks the mystical, spiritual hokum we are fed 'from The East' where people go to find themselves and return spouting empty aphorisms and diarrhoea. The eponymous guru sells chai from a railway platform and tea towels in the foyer. I bought one because it made me smile (not something you would usually expect from a tea towel I admit) and it is a souvenir of the show (plus the programme was free).
When I got home, I realised I have several 'best' tea-towels. As well as the scrappy old checked things, I have some beautiful bold designs of cabbage trees and pohutukawa that I bought on a festive impulse one Christmas. I have gifts from friends and relatives that have special meaning, such as the 'talking heads' with cultural icons I was given when I became a New Zealand citizen. It's not that I collect them - it's just that I seem to have accumulated them.
I'm not actually a collector, as such. I do collect leather bookmarks and I try to match them to the book I'm reading with some degree of relevance. For example I'm currently reading Sophie Hardach's The Registrar's Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages with a Charles and Di commemorative bookmark stuck between the pages.
|Culture clash on a 'talking heads' tea-towel|