Thursday, August 29, 2013

Gloria (again)

As you already might have read, I just love Gloria (see post: Hollywood Hippos). When the movie Madagascar 3 was released in Bangkok (June 2012), I went with a group of seven to the cinema. We all had our sets (drinks with popcorn), but I told them that when the movie was over, I had to get one of those special sets: huge plastic bucket (to be filled with popcorn) and a plastic drinking cup. For the cup they had different lids.... each with a different character of the movie. "Could you please give me a Gloria-lid for my cup? And NO drink" "????" "It is for my collection, and I do not want my cup to become dirty"... things didn't improve with that last remark ;-). But, yes, I got my cup with special lid, including the "you-must-be-weird-look" and another huge bucket of popcorn that was devoured by the rest of the gang... because I was too busy admiring my cute looking Gloria... happy as a hippo!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Kuda Nil

Kuda Nil means (Surprise! Surprise!) "Hippopotamus" in Indonesian. A few years ago, I bought this mug in a department store in Jakarta, Indonesia. It a was rather funny event. While walking in, I almost bumped into an enormous pile of these hippo mugs. It made me a bit suspicious, I really thought they had to get rid of them or something. I circled around the pile a few times, but I could not find any evidence of a clearance sale or special promotion going on. Just there, in the middle of the "kitchen-ware-household-department", displayed as newly arrived item. The only thing missing was a sign saying: Get one today! NO household can do without! 

As always (if I have the chance) I bought two of them. I am very lucky I did so. Unfortunately, the quality of these mugs is not very good, the one I used chipped very easily and the color of the paint also faded a bit. So I still have the "spare" one for my collection. I always handle it with extra care. 

In hindsight I should have bought the whole pile, as it would have been great to have shared them with my fellow hippo collectors. But at that time, I did not have the honor to know them. All I can do now, is ask my Indonesian friends to keep an eye out for me! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Thailand is not only famous for its silk, but also for its ceramics. The most famous one is called: Bencharong, colorful and wonderfully hand painted pieces (google images for an impression). The other more modest looking one is called Celadon ( Pieces are easily recognized, as they have one color only (emerald green, white, blue or brown) and a crackled glaze. Most of the time the decoration is carved into the pieces but sometimes parts are painted too. Some time ago, I bought a few wonderfully hand made bowls in a shop of a Cultural Center (near Kanchanaburi). I like those very much. To be honest, I am not much of a fan of the Celadon that you can find in department stores and souvenir shops, as it is mass produced in factories. But of course, as always, there is an exception... and this exception comes in the form of a (very much mass produced ;-)) Hippo-Head-Candle-Holder. As the elephant is Thailand's national animal, all animal related items are almost always elephants. To find anything "hippo" is very, very unusual. I wonder for how much longer the department stores will carry them. I hope... indefinitely! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Even though my dearest friend Albina is not particularly fond of hippos, she has brought many beautiful ones from Tanzania, including one that was custom made for me (see post: Kiboko). I also showed the bottle opener (see post: Hippo-Opener) and I still have 2 more lovely paintings to share in future posts. This wooden figurine is one of my favorites. I love it because you can clearly see that the artist has a good sense of humor, making a hippo sitting like this. And if you look closely, it even does have a bit of an attitude :-). It did not have a name until now, but I have decided to call her Didi. Didi means: older sister, in Nepali. As my friend is older and like a sister to me, I always call her Didi. At some point she started to call me Didi too.... So this figurine is named after both of us! Dear Didi, we can't wait to finally visit your home country next year. Of course I am excited to see many hippos in the wild, empty the handicraft shops and get the best coffee in the world. But most of all, we all love to see you, Mr. Bo and Ms. Patty again, it has been way too long. Little wooden Didi will have to do till then. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013


After three years we have left Bangkok. I am missing Thailand already. The food and the smells, but most of all our dear friends. We are meeting a lot of nice people already, so I am sure our stay in the USA will be wonderful too. Going through my pictures, I found this one. Marshmallows... hippo style. Unfortunately, the taste and texture are not that great (to my taste), but the packaging could not be better. I am not sure if they are for sale here in the USA, but if you fancy any, head to Bangkok, Gourmet Market. I do not know why they are called Mallow Plus. On the other hand... the smiling blue hippo is definitely a plus!