Thursday, September 11, 2008

Style of Nothingness-Seduction of Accessories

Just passed through Seoul's Incheon Airport today--my favorite airport, which is convenient because our favorite airlines is Korean Airlines. The simplest (and usually cheapest) route from California to Xiamen is Korean Airlines from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Seoul to Xiamen. And while at the Seoul airport, we enjoy the free internet, nice lounges with couches to lay on, and the relative quiet.

Sometime over the past year they've removed the airport, adding a museum-like display of traditional Chinese art and costumes near the lounge. I like the Asian clothing--sleeves that are two feet too long, waists that could fit someone 60 inches in girth, all bound up. They say it's style but I just think that in the old days the tailors didn't have measuring tapes. Still--some beautiful costumers. The elegance reminds me somewhat of Japan (imagine having a little slippered Japanese wife following behind! Of course, my made-in-Taiwan blonde wife Susan follows me behind, but not demurely; it's usually to keep me in line...).

But though I enjoy Seoul airport's museum-like displays, I think they should work on the English-unless they seriously mean for their English motto to really be "Style of Nothingness, Seduction of Accessories." Because in fact there is a lot of nothing to many styles nowadays, and people do seemed to be seduced by accessories--and in China as well.

Last year, before I passed out the final exams, my students handed me an elegantly packaged dunhill leather belt (probably fake, of course). I've seen belts sold in Xiamen for $300 USD! What on earth is the point? I can get a perfectly service belt on the night market for $5 USD!

Of course, it probably looks like a $5 belt, and lasts perhaps twice as long as the Chinese minister of commerce's famous "One Day" Shoes" that sparked an anti-shoddy quality campaign about ten years ago.
Enjoy Amoy!
Dr. Bill Xiamen University MBA Center

Well.... here's a scan of the Style of Nothingness Seduction of Accessories brochure from the Korean Airport. I'm not sure if they really mean it, or someone was having fun with the translation--but the airport itself is a delight, so visit Seoul and indulge in the style of nothingness.

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