Thursday, October 30, 2014

Power of Purple!

I think this hippo - bank was part of an abandoned hippo collection, saved at a flea market by my brother in law, a very long time ago. Although it looks cute, to be honest, it is not my favorite bank, and not my favorite "style" of hippo... but it will always be part of my collection, as this is the all time absolute favorite of my girls. I believe, mainly because of its bright color. Also, it looks very much like a toy. I know some of you very loyal followers, love purple very much, so this is for all of you: Purple - Hippo - Lovers. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bunch of... hippos?

My dear friends suffer from a severe form of the "look-for-hippos-for-Lien" decease (see posts: Hippo Crisps, Hippomallow, and Hippo Head Cake). This is an excellent example of Christmas Shopping getting out of hand. My friends already bought some very pretty hippos for me, and some horses for my girls. Just before that packet would be delivered to our home, they "accidentally" bumped into these guys... "When we saw these, we had to buy all of them" they told me... of course all of them did not fit into the original bag... so everything was repacked into a huge box. Christmas of 2012 will be remembered for sure, thanks to a colorful bunch. Hippo Happiness can't be represented any better!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pasar Raya Rally

Pasar Raya is the name of a shopping mall in Jakarta, Indonesia. They have an amazing selection of handicrafts and souvenirs from every part of the country. And as you can see, they even have beautifully carved hippos. Despite that, I never learned to like this place. Being impatient doesn't help.

Imagine, while dealing with handicraft overloads and souvenir oceans, you find a lovely wooden hippo. You are ready to pay. Only problem: where? You start circling around. Just when you want to give up, you spot a large group of smiling sales people around a small table. You smile back, and gladly place your item in front of them. One of the persons picks it up and hands it over to a colleague. That person puts it in a small cabinet in the back. A third person writes a slip, has it checked by one or two colleagues before handing it to you. And NO (but keep smiling), you are not supposed to pay here. You have to go to the other side of the store, to the cashier (another smile). Silly you, of course. So you take your slip and navigate to the other side of the store, trying to find anything that could possibly be a cashier. Needless to say, this takes a while. Note to self: when you see a huge line of people in the middle of the store, it is most likely that the cashier is at the other end. Finally, it is your turn. You are now the proud owner of a slip that has a nice stamp: PAID. Yeah! But then you realize you will have to go back wherever you came from, to pick up your purchase. Where was that again?
On your way back, you see the same lady wearing a striped shirt and a gentleman in shorts about five times. Each time passing them, while going in a different direction. Fellow tourists also walking the gauntlet. Miraculously, you see that small table and because you are so happy, you start to wave that beautifully stamped slip, not knowing this will cause quite a stir: While you have been going on the payment-expedition, they have (for efficiency reasons, obviously) packed your purchase already, in a nice Pasar Raya gift bag. Tiny detail, they have done that for all customers' items that have found their way there over the last few hours whilst you were on expedition. So now, it requires at least three people to go through a mountain of look-alike-gift-bags, to search for your item. You are lucky, they do find it. Of course, it needs to be double, no, triple checked, whether the item in the bag matches with whatever is written on the slip. Only then you can take your purchase home.... if you are able to find the exit, that is. 
A fifteen minute hippo hunt, turned into a three hour challenge. I have been dangerously close, to inflicting serious bodily harm to every person working there. I decided then and there, it was in everybody's best interests, not to shop there anymore. Cute hippos or not!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hippo Works

A few months ago, my husband received an e-mail message from an artist named: Denis Thomopoulos, with a few questions. Attached was a link to an animation film: education material for young children, to teach them about climate change. Did he have time to take a look, and would some sort of cooperation be possible? The first thing that "spooked" my husband was the fact that the password to get access to the animation was: Red Hippo. Living together with a hippo fanatic for many years is challenging enough... but to have hippos entering his work life as well, made him wonder...

The real shock came shortly thereafter. In the form of a bright red hippo named Simon, talking about climate change and most importantly... the Power of Poop! Then, he forwarded that e-mail with the link to me. Did I know Simon? The real question obviously was: did you have anything to do with this? I do wish I had... unfortunately, I did not.

But all that has changed. I am very happy and honored to have met Simon. It is my longtime believe that hippos contribute to World Peace. Not everybody agrees. But from now on, Simon is my living proof that hippos are Eco Heroes (check website link below). And of course, all heroes contribute to World Peace!

Thank you Denis, for creating him and doing an amazing job. Our planet is going nowhere, if we do not teach our children to care, protect and respect it. It is wonderful to know, a few decades from now, there will be decision makers and action takers, who will remember how Simon and his friends inspired them, to become Eco Heroes themselves!

Please visit:
It's a jungle out there - Let's keep it that way!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Heavy Metal

Some time ago, a wonderful birthday present made by Mr. Chatchai Suvannachot was featured on my blog (see post: Hippo JJ). At some point, this great artist had some beautiful lotus leaves hanging in his gallery. I asked him whether he would be able to make a huge lotus leaf that I could put (flat) on a table. Of course, hippos always being present in our conversations, we discussed some mini hippos sleeping on top of the leaf, too. It seemed a great idea. A few weeks later, I came to pick up my order. Only to find a wonderful lotus leaf but... no hippos. Mr. Chatchai's wife smiled and handed me another packet. A huge hippo head. "Not nice, mini hippos" she told me firmly. "My husband, he made head for you." And that was the end of the discussion. Not that I ever would have started one. To me this Heavy Metal Hippo Head is Hippo Art at its absolute finest.

Doesn't this head look like it comes right out of a very old Frankenstein-Movie-Scene? Imagine some scary music... and then look at this head... slowly rising out of dark and absolutely deadly waters...