Needless to say I am anxious from the fear of dropping a few heads and holding hats that are delicate and expensive. I am as graceful as an elephant, with my Mary Poppins bag. In fact, the owners look at me, making sure to keep an eye on my bag. I think the store is a little kitsch. The hats are a bit eccentric and rather old-fashioned, suitable for women of a certain age possibly used in ceremonies such as a wedding or watching racing horses. The owners are a gay couple. Belonging to the Bear/Leather community, they are both bald with a mustache style from the 800. They wore round glasses and wear sloppy with their clothing appearance. Unwatchable! When I was taking a photo, one of the two pointed out to me that I can’t take pictures, so I take advantage of that fact that I am a journalist, explain that to them, and propose to do some local advertising for them. I also cheer them up with two photos of them posing as two divas! Oh! It is too easy with gay men, just exhibit a bit of importance and you can do whatever you want!
From the kitsch to chic, we cross the street and go to MOOD, which is a gallery like Gallerie La Fayette. As if that was not enough while grabbing brochures, Roger fills me with other sheets of information. When reaching the top floor, there is a terrace where one can rent a bungalow for a dinner by candlelight. Very romantic idea, but I lack the resources. Also, on the top floor, you will find the information point. Roger introduces me as a journalist and the receptionist gave me some free samples of press releases including balm lips, and samples of perfumes such as Ralph Lauren, Polo and Diesel. Even if they are rather pleasant sport fragrances for my taste, usually I prefer Chanel, Hermes and Acqua di Gio by Giorgio Armani. The press release is very interesting and a great article, unfortunately it is written in Swedish! I ask if the press release in available in English, but he informs me I can see it on the Internet.
The concept is similar to Harrods, but then there is this fusion of clothing and special restaurants. It contains all possible target audiences. It is the perfect place for those who want to buy dresses who are budget conscious (Retro Industry), those who love designer minimal (Marlene Birger, Acne, Filippa K) and for those who do not want to miss the best of Italian and French designers.
And there is the choice for people who, between a purchase and another, appreciate a gourmet meal. If you are in the “Mood” you can enjoy a tapas-style Barcelona (rarity in Stockholm) to the Boqueria, Japanese fusion from EAT (European Asian Taste) or baguettes à la parisienne chez café Egoïste.
Before saying goodbye, I ask Roger if he knows where a good currency exchange office is. His friend is in Helsinki and as he will often meets him and need to exchange the crown to euro. He informs me the exchange is right in front of MOOD.
We say goodbye and I go back home to Fredrick’s.
Now on the plane, and reluctantly leaving Scandinavia, I realize that this trip is only the beginning of my new adventure awaiting me in the United States, the American Dream!
Now I am between the American dream, and the sweet memory a lot of first times. I’m leaving wonderful and special people that I hope will continue to be part of my life. The days that have been lived seem like years. Unforgettable moments lived. How can I forget the view of the Royal Norwegian, the sun at midnight, passing in front of the reindeer, and the endless journey between the birches at the sound of the Eurovision?
Tnough with the sentimentality! I come back to the present. The British Airways seems to have chosen the oldest cabin crew of the entire airline. The youngest steward is at least 60 years old!
The wheels have just touched on English soil, LONDON I’M COMING!
Translated by Fabio Chiarini edited by Anthony Killan