Marvelling: Happy reading Art Bear

There's often something slightly sugary, kitsch or poppy about the elements of "Western" culture that you find crossing over to Asian culture - this was the label of the water bottle that came when I stopped in at the Senior Crocodile Thai cafe in Sydney last week.

It's a little hard to read (the phone-cam doesn't like low light so much) but it says "happy reading art bear, I hope you will enjoy reading my stories". I like it - it went well with the young kidult vibe of the place, which included the ubiquitous "beckoning cat" statues that seem to be popping up all over the place and the wall to wall concert footage of who I think were the Pussycat Dolls.

Actually, I've just read up on the beckoning cat or maneki neko - which I'd initially called the waving kitty and it's much more than just the latest kitsch cartoon character based trend - it's a traditional good luck/come-in-and-do-business thing apparently.

Makes me realise that I'm getting on a little (just about to leave the cherished 18 - 35 demographic) but that's ok.

One other interesting thing I've discovered while writing this is that if you can hold your drink well in Japan, you might be referred to as hidari-kiki (left handed). Given that left handedness often has negative connotations in most languages - sinister, gauche etc - this is interesting.

(Maneko image borrowed from elissadariel on Flickr)