As Malaysia goes into a period of lockdown from 18th to 31st March, I will be publishing a new post on this blog everyday to keep all my friends back home company. This post is part of the #Lockdown series.
I tried to explain what this place is to my friends many times, but they never seemed to get it. Until I said, it’s like going to the supermarket at Chinatown – you’d find chicken feet, bird nest soup, thousand-year old eggs, dragon fruits, stinky tofu, old wife cakes, fat noodles, thin noodles, white noodles, yellow noodles, duck embryo and Pokemon canned water. At which point, they would go – Ah, weird things! Yes, quite right, except one man’s meat is another man’s poison. When Aladdin promised Jasmine “A Whole New World”, what he really meant was a magic carpet ride to the oriental supermarket. It’s what happened after Happily Ever After, you just haven’t seen it yet.
The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities is a museum and a cocktail bar in Hackney. This place is mad and perverse and nauseating, highly unorthodox, highly claustrophobic, but strangely endearing. It’s like walking into the house of your creepy neighbour with a search warrant. You see everything you want to see – from the bedside drawers to the sex dungeon hidden behind the pantry. You thought it was all pickles and canned tunas until you pick up a bottle of Kombucha and the shelves start moving. And there it stood, waving at you is the heartbreaking bullied childhood of a sex maniac. You suddenly want to give your creepy neighbour a hug and make him a cup of tea.
This museum is stuffed in the basement of a cocktail bar called The Last Tuesday Society, and it is packed to the brim with curiosities. From unicorn skulls to the skeleton of an illegitimate child, mummified cats to two-headed lamb, used condoms to celebrities’ poo, this place is basically the UK in the EU pre-Brexit, there are no boundaries.
I can’t remember what I saw that stuck with me, but I remember seeing everything I didn’t imagine seeing.
With love x