Something White

It’s a beautiful sunny day. The snow-capped Alps is showing off its crisp elegant lines.
Long nights are already here and it gets dark already at around 5 o’clock in the afternoon.

When I was walking in a hurry, looking at the roast chestnuts vender out of the corner of my eyes, I notice that one Christmas illumination has just been turned on. Where this small full light came from was deep in the cobblestone lane. The street in front of the station where the tram runs changed to a sort of blueish light of modern art 4 years ago.

Ladders were placed against the humongous tree in front of the huge bank building, and you could see many shadows moving, carrying big red or gold balls.

Since it is time for occasions that you dress up more frequently, the evening gym is getting more and more crowded. The festive season with continuous heavy meals is just around the corner.

I am getting nervous again, as I fear of my ritual failure. It seems to happen just before I am ready to go out, when I put on the clothes I have planned to wear, and they look something different than I thought would look.

The gym I go is just an ordinary one, but it is convenient as it is located in the center of the town. Furthermore, it is the area where many ethnic groups of people live like a compacted Zurich, in which environment I feel comfortable as a foreigner.
As a variety of people from various parts of the globe gather together here, you will hear many languages such as English, with various accents, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Swiss German.

Zurich is a city I expected to be conservative and low-keyed. However, once I started to come and go through this locker room, my impression has dramatically changed.
Especially this time zone, it is totally different from daytime. The age group becomes much younger, which adds some sort of glamour.

A fashionable madam is getting ready to leave by looking at her watch. A young woman who looks like a model, is looking at herself, standing in front of the mirror, with her chin up.
As the neighborhood is the financial district, some of the members may be working for such institutions. Sooner or later when the weather gets colder, it is quite a site to see all those fur coats lined-up on the hangers.

While every visitor from Japan says this is a sophisticated town, just looking at some fragment like this, might be convincing enough for you that it is a rich town.

As I had a little shopping to do, I rushed into one department store just before its closing time, carrying my half-finished bottle of Evian.
Some modest little present to my friend.

Many people seem to have decided on the color or design for this year. So I hesitated a bit, but I picked up for my table one cubic candle in the color of off-white, among the Christmas ornaments.

Winter rain has started to fall now.

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Journey around the world

When I went to Paris for the first time, I included, without question, a schedule to go the antique fair of Clignancourt. True to its reputation, tons of intriguing treasures were all over. Baroque tables or glasses of belle époque came into my view too carelessly.

I was looking for a chair. I stared at one that I thought would make it. I imagined how it would look in my usual space if I took it to my home.

No. This is definitely not the one. The lines and its volume would be too overwhelming in a Japanese room, and it would be impossible to keep a balance.

I almost gave up the idea and just about to leave, the shop owner told me that there were more in the attic if I were looking for a chair. So I went up, and there she was. It was made during the time between Art Nouveau and the Art Deco, and delicately you could feel its stream.

Before long, it traveled to Japan then to Asia. Then to Switzerland, it accompanied me all the way.

I should clean it when I moved to Zurich. Whenever I saw properly restored antique furniture in European homes, I started to feel that way.

Early summer three years ago, the owner of an antique shop in my neighborhood loved this chair the moment he saw it. “So this chair went for such a long trip from France to Switzerland.” It was made of ebony, telling it must have been carried over from somewhere in Africa.

Given the map of the shop, I hurried to the fabric shop I was introduced. As I already had a certain image of the material, I chose the one I liked best among those solid colored ones shown to me. Those fringes are called “Gimpe” in the fabric term, I heard.

I returned to the antique shop and together with the owner, we looked for the color for the legs. Although I was a bit uncomfortable to repaint into a different color, it turned out fine as a result. I waited for two months.

“The design of this chair is quite unique and unusual around here. So many people came to see it.”

The 100-year old springs were removed from the disassembled chair, and replaced with new ones. I understand that four craftsmen shared all the work from reassembling, putting on new fabric, to the final painting of the back and the legs.

While different languages are spoken here, surely you find the scene where this chair blends in smoothly.

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