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3 July 2012 (The Hat Lady)

July 3, 2012

Hat store in the Marais, Paris | パリ・マレ地区の帽子屋さん, Canon EOS Kiss X4

I have a thing for hats.

For some women it’s shoes, for others it may be bags,
but for me it’s hats that I find hard to resist the most.
(Okay and belts too. And occasionally earrings. And bracelets.
Oh all right, if I didn’t live in a kibbutz,
my shoe collection would most definitely be bigger too.)

So when I saw this hat store in the Marais district, I couldn’t resist going in.
The woman in the store was busy cleaning when I first walked in,
but before I knew it she was measuring my head and giving me one hat after another to try.
(Thanks to her, I know my hat size now!)

I wasn’t originally planning to buy anything (of course!) but there was a hunting cap
that made both the lady and I pause when I tried it on in front of the mirror.
While she was wrapping it for me we started talking and she asked me where I was from.
I told her I was from Japan but cautiously added (because you never know)
that I currently live in Israel. At that her eyes lit up.

“I was in Israel about 5 years ago,” she told me excitedly.
“It is such a beautiful country,” she continued,
“The mainstream media, they only show one side.
It is not fair, what they are doing.”

With this I relaxed and we compared our stories about Israel.
She also told me there is one of the oldest synagogues in Paris
right across the street from her store and that there was a wedding going on right now.

My friend told me the other day that customers and salespeople tend to
get in to really long conversations in Paris,
and I happily took up that local custom today.

Hat store:
Celine Robert
20, rue des Tournelles, 75004 Paris

私は帽子が大好き。

靴好きな女性もいれば、バッグ狂の女性もいる。
でも私は帽子に弱いのだ。
(あとベルトも。ちなみに時々ピアスも。そしてたまにブレスレットも。
Ok, ok, もしキブツに住んでなかったら靴の数も今より
増えている可能性、、、、大。)

なのでマレ地区へ踏み入れて早々この帽子屋さんが目に入ってきた時、
入らずにはいられなかった。
お店で働いていた女性は最初はお掃除に夢中だったが
気付いたら彼女に頭のサイズを量られ、次々と試着する帽子を手渡されていた。
(今回で自分の帽子サイズを知ることができた!今まで帽子サイズの存在すら知らなかったし、、)

もともとは何も買う予定はなかったのだけれど(いつもそう!)
色々試した中で女性と私両方が一瞬はっとするハンチング・キャップがあった。
それを包装しながら、彼女は私がどこから来たのかを尋ねてきた。
日本出身と伝えた後用心深く(いつでもどういう反応がくるかわからないので)
現在はイスラエルに住んでいることを伝えた。
そしたら彼女の目はパっと開いた。

「私は約5年前にイスラエルに行ったの!」と嬉しそうに彼女は言った。
「とても美しい国だと思ったわ。
マスコミが伝えるイスラエルは本当に片寄ってる。
彼らがしていることは公平じゃないわ。」と彼女は熱心に話した。

これを聞いて私はリラックスし、彼女とイスラエルでの経験話を交換した。
また彼女はこのお店からすぐ向かい側にパリで最も古いシナゴーグの一つがあることを
教えてくれた。そこで現在ウェディングが進行中らしい。

先日友達がパリではお店の人とお客さんが良くすごい勢いで話してるんだよね〜
って教えてくれたばかりだったけど、
今日私はその現地の習慣を自然と身につけてしまったようだ。

帽子屋さん:
Celine Robert
20, rue des Tournelles, 75004 Paris

Much love,
Kaori

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 16, 2012 2:33 pm

    No photo of your new hat? I’m very curious to see it!

    What a relief that the salesperson responded positively. I also rarely bring up Israel with strangers, but recently (and cautiously) mentioned it to a very Midwestern vendor at a farmers’ market while discussing his hummus selection. Most people in this area are very conservative and therefore generally not anti-Israel, unlike in France, but this guy became terribly bitter and accusatory. People are strange.

    • July 16, 2012 3:55 pm

      Oh right, I should have posted a photo of the hat huh?🙂 I’ll try to get around to that.

      I’m sorry to hear the farm market vendor’s response! I wasn’t planning on telling any strangers that I live in Israel but something about that lady made me tell her. I’m glad I did, but it won’t stop me from being cautious.

Trackbacks

  1. 15 July 2012 (Kaput | ばてる) « Meuleh! מעולה | Meuleh | メウレ

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