EG made the Financial Times today. Tyler Brule not a fan of the metallic poplin shorts though:
The long and the shorts of my week
By Tyler BrÃ»lÃ©
Published: June 18 2010 22:41 | Last updated: June 18 2010 22:41
It's been a busy, buzzy week here at the Fast Lane but fortunately part two of the summer holiday is well within sight and by the time you read this I'll be taking up my post on a lounger in a tiny cove on the Amalfi coast. In the meantime, however, I'm trying to make sense of the past seven days and the crush of experiences I've been attempting to catalogue. For sake of ease, I've listed them in chronological order:
1. Beware of what time you fly eastbound, London to Hong Kong. I tend not to pay too much attention to flight times and focus more on the airline and type of aircraft operated when booking a flight. With so much on offer between London and Hong, the first Cathay Pacific flight of the day sounded best (747-400 service departing around midday). I had my colleague Alex book me a seat and, sadly, I'm still living with the effects. The noon-ish departure that arrives just before midnight London time set me up for a week of grumpiness as I didn't get a proper sleep on the way out, had to hit the day in high gear and never caught up.
2. Beware of flying on to Tokyo later that day. On paper a full day of business in Hong Kong followed by a midnight flight to Tokyo Haneda seemed a productive idea, as it would save on hotel costs and get me into Tokyo for a full day of meetings on the Friday. For some reason no one told the nice people at ANA that was the plan and for some reason they decided to keep the lights on full blast for most of the three-and-a-half hour flight to Tokyo and sleep was more than a bit of a challenge.
3. A good shave and haircut can reset your body clock. My Friday in Tokyo was more back-heavy with meetings so I took up my colleague Masumi's offer of going for a haircut at Uka at Tokyo Midtown. Before I set off I went to my favourite barbershop near the Peninsula for a beard trim and then made my way to Roppongi to have my 'do seen to. Ninety minutes later the stresses of the two flights had been deleted thanks to a luxurious hair wash and scalp massage.
4. A run around the Imperial Palace can actually set you back. After a round of early evening meetings I pulled on my running gear and decided to go for a jog around the Imperial Palace. This was definitely a good idea at the time but I came dangerously close to missing dinner when I got back to the room and was a useless guest at dinner late that evening. Nevertheless, it's still one of my favourite running routes in the world.
5. Beware of high-tech garments with metal in the fabric. New York-based Engineered Garments is one of my favourite fashion labels but one of their new fabrics for summer 2010 is not. At their store in Aoyama I was instantly drawn to a pair of khaki shorts that had an interesting, somewhat dry finish. When I inspected the label it revealed that the shorts were a cotton/metal mix and without further inspection I bought them. The first time I wore them I received many compliments. The second time I wore them (post-washing, last Saturday), I almost ended up in hospital. After about two hours of wear the fabric started reacting badly to some rubbing on the inner thigh and it felt as if the shorts had turned into steel wool. I didn't notice this at first and thought the burning sensation might have been the humidity but by the time I arrived at Narita for my flight to Los Angeles my inner thighs had turned into hamburger meat. As I'd already checked a bag (yes, yes, I know but it was too heavy) there was no longer the option of changing and my heart sank when I was handed a boarding pass with gate 55 stamped on the front. I ended up walking to the plane looking like I'd ridden a horse clear across Japan.
6. Will these shorts set off the metal detector? Thankfully, no.
7. Pyjamas on board are actually a good thing. Normally I'm not a fan of pyjamas supplied by airlines but the new navy-blue crisp cotton ones handed out on ANA saved my inner thighs. The second they were handed out I was in the loo getting out of the steel wool shorts and into the cool pyjamas. A thorough inspection in the lavatory revealed that I had narrowly escaped permanent physical and mental scarring.
8. Do I or don't I? I was so happy in the pyjamas that I ended up crossing the Pacific with a dilemma: do I wear the pyjamas off the plane or do I change back into the shorts on landing? Given ANA doesn't let passengers keep the pyjamas (a very good thing, I might add) I already had my answer and waited till the last minute to change back into the offending shorts.
9. Do I or don't I? Part two. Do I ask for a handicapped buggy service to get me to the immigration hall at LAX or do I do my bow-legged shuffle all the way to the arrivals hall? In the end I suffered through it.
10. Do I or don't I? Part three. Do I or don't I ship them back to the manufacturer with a stern note? Worry not, they've already been FedExed. I decided not to send photos of the lacerations.
Tyler BrÃ»lÃ© is editor-in-chief of Monocletyler.firstname.lastname@example.org
More columns at www.ft.com/brule