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the magical world of airsickness bags

Welcome. This is what my wife calls "a bunch of stupid jokes and pictures of paper bags." She's right about the jokes. She's wrong about the bags: some of them are plastic.

What the critics say: "Utterly unnotable" (Wikipedia editor). "Ridiculous collections #4" (Buzzfeed). Other comments: "As complete wastes of time go, it's a very high quality complete waste of time... An entirely dispensable source of inane comments about a truly trivial subject... A monument to the planet's worst corporate design... An unwelcome reminder of some of the more unpleasant moments in our lives."

Donations (unused, please) of bags not represented in the bag gallery are welcomed -- please mail to this address, and I'll credit you on this site! I am happy to trade any extras that I have. Check out the links to other bag sites, find out how you can use your spare bags, and explore the fascinating world of bag manufacturers

Highlights: The design features page reveals the secrets of professional baggery, and the logos page analyses the enigma of airline corporate identities. Search for your favourite bag, browse the bag gallery by country and airline, and check out the biggest, best and worst bags!


Niek reveals bagtips

If you're in the Netherlands (as I was yesterday), then it's worth paying a visit to the Openluchtmuseum (Open Air Museum) in Arnhem. In building called the Spaarstation Dingeliefde is an exhibit devoted to collectors, including our very own Niek Vermeulen and his bag collection.

Visitors are greeted at the door by a full-length, life-sized photo of Niek holding a trio of bags, like those cutouts you find at the entrance of VIP lounges of Asian airlines.

Rush past the collections of cut glass, moneyboxes, crucifixes, and memorabilia from the Dutch royal family, though my wife did linger over the photos of a man who had collected tattoos - as she discovered - on all parts of his body.

At the end of the exhibit comes a room shaped like an aircraft cabin, with several rows of seats, and a forest of bags hanging from the ceiling. While you wait in vain for the cabin service, you can watch a five-minute video of Niek wandering around Schiphol Airport in search of bags, plus a glimpse of his secret "bag bunker" somewhere in the Dutch-Belgian borderlands.

Among the bag-collecting secrets he divulges: go to the gate where a plane is parked, wait for the passengers to disembark, and ask the ground staff if they could get some bags for you. It helps if you have a camera crew with you - it makes it more likely that the staff will comply.

There are no bags in the seat pockets, and the bags hanging from the ceiling are pretty common. I did spot one rather pretty Malaysian Airlines bag that would fill a gap in my collection, but it was too high to reach. I must bring a stepladder with me on my next visit.

Click here for more details on the museum.

Sunday, February 12, 2006 


What do Latvia, Liberia and Lesotho have in common? Yes, they all start with an L. What else? They're all missing from my barfbag collection.

What's the biggest country not represented? Chad. In terms of population? Burkina Faso. Other prominent absentees (coloured red in the map): Georgia and Rwanda. 

Major underrepresented portions of the globe are a swathe of Africa and chunks of Central Asia and Central America.

Donations from these areas especially welcome!

Centres of megabagdiversity are the USA (though many US bags are distressingly plain), China, the UK, Canada, Germany, Brazil and Indonesia. 

Click here for details.

For new baggists only


New to the world of bag collecting? Want to get a head start on your collection? Then send me an email, and I'll send you a randomly selected free starter pack from my surplus bag stock. There won't be anything rare, and you may end up with some duplicates, but at least you'll be able to show your friends a few more of these lovely cultural artefacts. Make sure you include your mailing address in your email. Offer good as long as stocks last.

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