Friday, September 15, 2006

Lost in Thailand ...

M. was visiting the Jetstar site at work the other week, looking at prices for trips to Thailand. Conversation went something like this:

TIM: Thailand, eh? I'd like to go to Thailand too.

M: Really? Thinking of taking a trip?

TIM: No, I need to buy some bow ties.

M: Um ...

TIM: I figure I can get some of those at Tie-Land.

M: Jeeze, Tim, you're ...

TIM: Incorrigible? Yes, incorrigible is the word I like to use about me too. Yes, I am incorrigible. Thanks!

I wasn't lying about the tie bit though. I did want to get some bow ties. Partly out of a notion that bow ties are something that it would be good to own. And partly because I'll be going to a wedding in a month or two, so I'm going to have to do my best to look incorrigible. Also, I've always wanted to be an eccentric economist, and I need a few bow ties to pull that off. Indeed, for a person who is so demonstrably unstylish and unknowledgeable about matters fashion-wise, I have a strange and enduring obsession with bow ties and neck ties.

So off I went on my quest for neck wear. Incredibly hard things to find, too. I looked up and down Melbourne's CBD for a 'gentleman's outfitters', on the advice of my mother. There was nary a tie in sight, much less a bow tie. T-shirts seem to be more the thing these days, and coats and the like for the businessman sort. I even visited the Melbourne Hatters beneath Flinders Street station, but although I learned that I'd have to get my brother's head measured just above the ears if I wanted to buy him a top-hat for Christmas, I couldn't find a bow tie.

I finally found a tie store in one of the arcades of Collins Street (there was a specialist sock store up the other end). It was sitting in the corner, easy not to notice when you went in the arcade. I actually did a full circuit before I spotted it. For a place specialising in men's garments, it was rather ... multicoloured. Grey's more the thing, I always thought. Anyway, got two bow ties there, one a simple black, the other a greyish tone with regular cross-hatch decoration on it. (I really wanted an eccentric-looking one with spots on it.)

When I got these at the counter, I spotted a couple of pink neck-ties on sale.

TIM: Do blokes really buy those things?

STORE LADY: Oh yes, they're very popular.

TIM: Hmmm ... goes with the pink shirts, I guess.

STORE LADY: I stay away from those guys, myself.

Pink ties? There's no accounting for taste. Bow ties, on the other hand, are eminently stylish. Well worth my Saturday explorations. Now, if I can just figure out how to tie the damn things ...


Darlene said...

Nice picture of a bow tie.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I thought it was quite natty.

TimT said...

Anonymous is me!

Tim said...

Wow! Scary. My name is Tim and I own a bow tie site ( and have a blog ( and have been planning a future trip to Thailand. Funny, eh??

TimT said...

Good on you for living the Bow Tie Dream!

In Australia we tend to live the blow fly dream, which is much uglier.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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