Almost home.

Farewell, land of wheat products and cold food.

I can’t believe how much I’ve missed food, my food, not these yes-beautiful-but-hollow sandwiches and salads and strips of pancetta on pasta. I want spicy peanuts, adobo and the rogan josh across the street from the office. I want sinigang and green papaya salad and the buta kakuni at Shinjuku.

I am wanting all these while munching on yet another variation on the croissant.

I fly out from Paris tomorrow, connect to Amsterdam then take the lights-out-everyone-sleep flight to Manila. It will be the morning of the 26th when I arrive, many Euros poorer but richer in so many other ways that count aside from money.


One era at a time.

I am always overwhelmed at the Louvre. I can’t do what the other tourists do, take in everything in one day and have a sandwich in between halls. For me, the Louvre is best in bite-sized pieces.

So yesterday, I went straight to the Egyptian Antiquities section in Sully. Who knew hieroglyphics came in cursive? I spent a lot of time in front of the papyrus displays. What I thought were incense sticks were actually writing sticks on ink boards. I didn’t bother to rent the digital guides, instead preferring to stare at objects and teasing out meaning from the French descriptions.

Taking pictures and video distracts me. I don’t like the feeling of recording the experience just as I’m experiencing it. I took most of these pictures going through the exhibition again on my way out. My first real mummy! Kohl and unguent pots! No wonder I missed lunch.

I need a title. Help.

I wrote this poem in 1996, put it up on my old blog, and rereading it now, eyelids heavy with a week’s worth of sleep, I realized it had no title.

Who abandons these cars
and allows them to live anew:
cat motels, dust magnets,
flutes when the city’s hot winds

go through one cracked window
then another:
who? And who smears hasty hearts
on all those windshields,

made-to-fade messages of love
to Veronica or just anyone
passing by? Take a number,
then any street,

find that door and knock on it.
Whoever answers can be
the woman who is always the question,
freshly arrived from the airport,

smelling of lavender and
sex on the beach.
“Who are you?” she asks, and
dizzy with love, you can’t answer.

Was it Robert Frost who said the title is the clasp that holds the necklace together?

you’re sideswiped by possibility?


See you next year.

Nano the Tourist

Joni, Jody and I took a cardiovascularly challenging stroll to Musée de la Castre yesterday afternoon, before the Film, Titanium and Integrated Awards night. Nano insisted on the more typical tourist shots, and I obliged.

The bar is so high my neck hurts peering up at it. But if there’s one thing Cannes teaches you, it’s how to jump in stilettos, preferably in silver-finished leather.

My next stop is Paris for a couple of days. Let’s see what happens.

Le Pink.

After overdosing on fresh seafood (escargots rock) at Brun, thanks to Pepito, several of us landed in Le Pink, a couple of doors down. Le Pink is a little bar packed with personality, a lot of it gay. We had rosé and laughter and Herbert’s scarf.

Peter and Merlee:
Peter and Merlee

Les Young Lions:
Young Lions

Noel and Nandy:
Noel and Nandy

The DM9 gang on the way to the DDB party:

Good night, Cannes!

Winding down Cannes.

Y&R has a new logo? Where was the memo?

Walking to the Y&R party on the Carlton beachfront, I realized the logo on the backdrop of the Y&R-sponsored Rupert Murdoch talk was not a glitch in the matrix. From 100% cyan, it is now white with a thick dark blue outline. It looks like a cross between a ballet dancer and a bouncer. I’m sure it will grow on me. Like mushrooms on a log. (Okay, I’m being tetchy and uncharitable.)

I overslept and missed the Crispin talk. I made sure not to miss Jonah Bloom with Maurice Levy, and David Droga and Unicef for the Tap Project.

Angel asked me, how would you describe Maurice’s hair? I said, “Leonine.” It matches the Publicis lion logo. That made me think about how hair can be such a signature for ad people. There’s Bob Isherwood’s platinum shocker, Bob Greenberg’s not-quite-tonsure and the BBDO guy who keeps going up the stage for HBO Voyeur with the if-Farrah-Fawcett-had-a-mullet. (Every time he’s gone up on stage I find myself applauding his look as well as his work.)

Back home there’s Merlee’s unflappable bob, Kat’s non-hair and Ompong’s boucles. Boucles, I have deciphered from the intensive study of Garnier hair products at Monoprix, is curls.

I’m sure I’ll see more hair – and more great work – tomorrow night at the Film, Titanium and Integrated Awards. A big shoutout to DM9 and TBWA for getting into the film shortlist, not a small feat considering the others on the list. I’d like to see Tan Hong Ming get metal. Previous Grand Prix winners Times of India (direct) and HBO Voyeur (Outdoor) are also in contention for Titanium, as well as big Clio winner Halo 3/Believe.