My last post was a general round-up of my Singapore holiday (see: “Bookish Adventures in Singapore, part 1: Holiday Reading”). This time I’m getting more specific… much more specific… Hergé’s Tintin. What’s Tintin got to do with Singapore? I hear you ask. Read on…
On our third day in Singapore we decided to head on over to Chinatown in the late afternoon for a bit of shopping and some dinner. We were walking down a typical, crowded street, crammed full of shops (some selling interesting, quality local products, but most dealing in ubiquitous, junky souvenirs), my daughters trying to decide between a multitude of fluffy toys on key chains, when I happened to glance over my left shoulder. My eyes widened. There, nestled amongst all these souvenir shops, was a shining beacon of incongruity — The Tintin Shop. I rubbed my eyes and shook my head to make sure it was not a humidity-induced mirage. But it was still there.
I’ve never read Hergé’s famed Tintin comics, but I recently watched the television series with daughter #1 (see my review on Viewing Clutter). So, I tapped her on the shoulder and pointed to the store. Her eyes lit up and, fluffy toys momentarily forgotten, we rushed over, stepping into a cool, air-conditioned wonderland.
Wow! The place was chock-full of books, posters, models, toys, standees, statues, etc, etc — all devoted to Tintin in his many forms, from the comics to the television series to the new blockbuster film. We wandered around, gazing in awe at the displays, flipping through comic books and picking up the occasional toy or model to examine it more closely. It was all quite overwhelming.
We didn’t end up buying anything as it was all rather pricey, but we did have a lovely time browsing. What my daughter wanted most was the comic books. Having watched the series she is now desperate to read the original comics. But I already had a couple of those on order and, frankly, they are cheaper to purchase here in Australia from Boomerang Books. So we left empty handed. And as we stepped out of the Tintin Shop, the humidity hitting us like a crashing wave, daughter #1 rushed across the street to the souvenir store and bought a fluffy toy on a key chain.
Glancing back towards Tintin as my daughter made her purchase, it struck me that there were tables and chairs in a tented area in front of the entrance. So I took a quick wander back to discover that customers could sit down and relax with a beer before/after checking out all the Tintin merchandise. Beer and Tintin… what a great combination. 🙂
My visit to the Tintin Shop was quite a surreal experience, like briefly stepping from one world into another, and then back again. And this was not the last bookish surprise that Singapore had in store for me…
Tune in next time to find out about Books Actually.
Catch ya later,
Check out my DVD blog, Viewing Clutter.
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