When I was younger, I used to collect matchboxes from my travels. Before I turned 20, I had bowls of them from South Korea, Tahiti, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, and places across the US. (The only matchbooks I saw in China back there were plain white, so I didn’t bother).
But then I worried they’d ignite and my family’s house would go up in flames. So I threw them away.
Thank goodness my grandma had the sense to keep hers. Last week she and my uncle brought me a box filled with matchbooks from Hong Kong, Japan, South Africa, Kenya, Jamaica, Hawaii, German, and England.
Some of my favorites were these (above) from the Ambassador Hotel in Hong Kong. My grandparents stayed there in the 60s and maybe early 70s. I love the themes of the Ambassador’s restaurants.
Many grand restaurants back then included a show with dinner. Dancers, tops sometimes optional, entertained diners at set times during the evening.
By the time I got to Hong Kong, most of those dinner shows were a thing of the past.