The Sensible Hanky...

When I traveled to Phuket, Thailand earlier this year, I decided to design a gift for my cameramen that were working on the tv show along with me. Since tailoring is such a big business here, I came up with the idea of a pocket square/lens cleaner. That's something the guys may actually use...

I found my tailor at the local Nai Yang Beach- it's a small strip of shops and restaurants along the ocean, not far from where my hotel was. 

In all honesty, every tailor shop looked about the same and carried very similar fabrics. I was hoping for some better fabric choices, as many were conservative and there were a ton of stripes and checks. But it's all good, who am I to complain... fussing over fabrics in southeast Asia? This is a fun project, however it ends up. 

I bugged my wonderful Tech Supervisor on the show, T-Bone, to hand over some of his extra lens cleaners. He had them in one size in both blue and yellow. 

After picking out some complementary fabrics, I explained to the tailor my idea- which took a lot of time to translate as it was not your traditional project. As much is lost in translation, the pocket squares came out fairly well but the font was not the one I chose, the letters a bit too big, the stitching on the back was supposed to be hidden...but ah, again, how can I complain? These stylish hankies would be a great reminder of the time we all spent together one hot summer in Thailand...

All the cameramen and AC's got a Sensible Hanky with their first initial on them. I'm thinking of refining the look a bit and making some more here and selling them. The lens cleaners are great for computer screens, eyeglasses, sunglasses, cameras...What do you think? I'd love some feedback...

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach

 

Tomas Gets a Haircut

A few months back, I traveled to Phuket, Thailand to work on a cable TV show. For 7 weeks, every day, my fellow crew and I drove to set, passing by this small house along the way. A handmade sign on a post caught my eye that first day and made me smile. It simply said, in English, Man Haircut.

As soon as I saw it, I knew it was a future Manly Monday segment...but who would be my victim? I chose Tomas, a good friend of mine from Argentina, who is a cameraman on the show. His hair had gotten long by the end of the shoot and was open, as many of my traveling colleagues are, to a new experience, however off kilter that may become. Perfect.  

When we arrived, this older man appeared. He didn't speak a word of English but as is often the case when traveling, much could be communicated through body language. Tomas sat down, pointed to his long curls and the only thing we knew for sure was, he was about to get a man haircut. 

My friend Manwe lives in Thailand and he was kind enough to go back a week or so later and ask the man a few questions. His name is Charoun Songdeng but goes by the nickname Nui. He's 65 years old (Manwe noted it took a minute for him to remember how old he really was) Nui has been a barber in his local Nai Thon village for over 20 years. Before that, he was a construction worker and a farm hand. 

Nui only does men's hair and says his prices are way cheaper than you'll find down at the beach, about a mile away. (He charged Tomas $3) Most of Nui's clients are regulars. Manwe, "As I was interviewing him, a taxi driver drove past and shouted that he will be back in half an hour for a haircut." 

It took about 30 minutes from start to finish. Nui was slow yet purposeful, quiet and kind. When Manwe asked Nui what he liked or disliked about his job, he replied, "I can't think of anything I don't like. It's all good and keeps me busy." 

My initial fear was that Nui would cut Tomas' hair too short but rest assured, it was the perfect length. We thanked Nui in Thai- hands held together in prayer pose, offering a slight bow in gratitude. 

It was here, on the side of the road in a small Thai village, that words carried little weight. All that mattered was all we had- a shared understanding of a man who needs a haircut.  

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach