Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Desperate purchases

I took the train back to Milan yesterday so I have better Internet again. I took my first real shower in a month (at Podere Campriano all the water is heated by the wood-burning caldaia, so you really can't linger). Then I set out into Milan and bought the following:

1. 500 grams of Sterzing-Vipiteno coffee yogurt. I considered whether it would be better to buy three different flavors of the 150-gram cups. But I'm sick of things that finish just when they start! Anyways, I ate all 500 grams with great speed in the little sunny piazza by Porta Ticinese, so dazed that the yogurt was all gone in an instant.

2. An extra-large wool-blend nubby gray sweater at Muji. I've never bought anything extra-large in my life. My very large clothes are either one-size-fits-all, or from the men's section. I didn't need the sweater, but I had to have it, especially because I'm planning on washing all my winter clothes tomorrow. Clothes that fit properly often make me feel swollen and bursting-at-the-seams.

3. A ring with wings on it at H&M. I'm still not sure why I bought it. It was euros 4.95. I suspect it contains heavy metals. I took it off before my hosts in Milan could see it.

4. A tiny pink bottle of "Gardenia" perfume at H&M. It cost even less than the ring. I imagine it's made out of petroleum and windex, or some other such thing. I sprayed it all over my scarf, trying to figure out if the smell was nauseating. (Jury's still out. I can't even tell if the smell is clean or not.) The pink glaze on the bottle cracked like plastic and came off onto my hands, especially around the bottle's neck, which was covered with some oily non-perfume liquid that I could not rub away.

This summer I bought a similarly non-elite perfume at a Cogne pharmacy. The perfume (actually it was just called "body spray" or something) was meant for men and smelled like vetiver. A bit like for Proust in that high-ceilinged bedroom, vetiver fills me with a vague dreading unease. The H&M perfume also gives me a nervous, upset feeling. (I tend to get that feeling from every perfume, though.) But when I'm on a farm where money is so carefully distributed that clothes are washed with baking soda, there's nothing I want more than some sweet spray to douse my hay-prickling clothing.

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