Europe Diary: the $HOPPING marathon

Generally I have more male hormones when it comes to shopping.
I know what I want and I head straight for it.
Window shopping is a bore and a waste of time, not to mention feet killing exercise that bears no gain in calorie losses or cardiac improvements; well, unless you count the occasional ‘heart attack’ when the synapses connecting the eyes with the brain makes sense of the senseless high ticket price on the item!
Being a monochromatic wardrobe dresser with the occasional earthy tones, and one who wears predominantly pants (rather, only pants) paired with man shirts with the occasional girlie gingerly seductive blouses, once a cut fits me, I waste no time by acquiring 4-5 of the identical piece (for black pants) or 6-8 similar pieces (for man shirts). Thus for the ‘boring’ professional styling, its limited to Brooks Brothers and Thomas Pink since the one and only man custom-made tailor whom I had found and persuaded to make shirts for me in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman has to my greatest horror one Saturday transformed its once muted gold and Chardonnay red classy facade with French type canvas awnings with scallop edges piped in white into a lemon yellow Courts outlet without any intricate finishing!!!
Leatherwear takes on a more complex twist especially in the form of handbags.
Louis Vuitton is so in your face. Well, so is Gucci, Fendi and what not.
Somewhat ah lian if you know what I mean, plus I know of enough annoying wannabes with them, literally fondling (not fumbling) their wristlets and phone pouches during meetings as a way to flaunt them! I mean… let’s get real here and plurlease not make me make the mobile companies any richer by sending cynical and comical sms-es out to others about your actions!
Having been upset with Gucci {read HERE} I am rather hesitant to get any more bags from them though Gucci’s designs are just so appealing and seems to push the right buttons with me. Take for instance, who the heck wants a tassel which serves no purpose at all (other than another dangling ‘holder’ for snatch thieves) hanging on their bag? Well, I do. Seriously who cares? I LOVE TASSELS … and believe it or not I have been on a look out for a tassel like chain made of fine semi-precious stones in India, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Morocco with little success. 
The problem with me? or Gucci? is no matter how upset I am, even moments before with them, it does not dissuade me from wanting more. The classic and most embarrassing example would be me buying a medium size hobo in London last year right after they had gently confirmed that my ‘heart’ is shattered and irreparable! I defend my stand and foolishness here by saying: the gay customer service personnel was excellent as he not only attempted to nourish and pamper the shattered heart, he wrapped the remains in delicately perfumed soft tissue and tied the box with only the best silk ribbon one could find.
In short, he had me wrapped around his index finger and let me into the boutique to buy right after he had told me to cut lost on 2 bags with material defects that was going to cost me more in repairs! Oh hell, I knew I was manipulated, but who could resist the pampering and indulgence, one that makes you feel like a whole woman and a beautiful one at that too.

hmmm… who needs babies to feel whole when you have great gay Gucci customer service personnels?

Shoes due to the comfort and wear ability factor restricts the choices somewhat, though you will still see me in Ferragamo and complaining endlessly when I am in them. Thus far, I have recorded only a 20% success rate with Ferragamo in that I am able to ‘survive’ in a pair or 8 hours straight … which explains the crocs, japanese slippers, and assortment of other shoes that lines the floor beneath my desk at work and the legendary story of “Penelope is in no hurry for her car, but she urgently needs her mobile shoe ‘cupboard'” by the grease monkeys in Land Rover Malaysia. The thing about my grease monkeys is I absolutely adore them in many, many ways… and those who have seen me deal with them or socialize with them during 4×4 coterie activities will attest to that. And who wouldn’t adore them when thereafter, every time my car was ‘hospitalized’ I note that they would remember to relocate the shoe ‘trunk’ into the courtesy vehicle for me! 
In all fairness, most high fashion brand shoes sucks and I must not single Ferragamo out! 
Comfort is obviously not a main consideration; styling is.

Christian Louboutin for instance was quoted to have said, “You are NOT suppose to run in your stilettos” when a socialite once exclaimed, “Christian, I love your shoes but I can’t run in them!”
Oh well, at a minimum height of 6″, you gotta be kidding me lady! Not sure what medical insurance you’re on, but mine sure does not cover broken/fractured ankles from tripping over LouboutinS.
Aside from the stilettos which is man’s best, and yet worst creation ever, the flats are no better as they are literally flat with no support for the arch what-so-ever! In this realm, I have about a 30% success rate of comfort, with most leaning towards the Tods and Cole Hann (thanks to Nike’s technology). The Mui Mui and Prada are hopeless, with the exception of the Fuchsia with Lilac Purple lining one I have that stirs too much reaction for the financial industry that’s staffed with boring, unimaginative, Meet the Joneses stereotypes.
So with all the above in mind, I had mapped out and strategised the best way to ‘attack’ Bicester Village before I left for the Balkans and Turkey.
It had to be not only the most efficient way, it has to be most effective with least weight and bulk to carry in the beginning gradually progressing with more stuff towards the coach/entrance end.
It would also have to be brands where its not widely available (selection wise) in Kuala Lumpur-Singapore  as well as brands with the highest REAL savings.
Lastly, given that time was the essence, it has to be brands that both Val and I are already using to minimize the need for alteration and multiple size test (i.e. 6, 8, 10, 12) for the best fit; thereby minimizing margin of errors and saving time.


But with the tummy bug persisting, the $hopping Marathon plan had to be aborted …saving myself from further exhaustion and exacerbation of the situation to meet two ‘A’s in London; one my best-est friend ever in school for dinner whom I’ve not seem or spoken to in 17 years (do not guess my age!), and the other a friend/colleague’s brother for breakfast tomorrow to get my delayed shipment books that had to be shipped to him since had so royally screwed up the shipment last year during London’s blizzard Christmas season. Furthermore, should some effective persuasion works, hopefully some 2012 Olympic tickets as he’s attached with a company responsible for some of the Olympics infrastructures. 
The third ‘A’ has unfortunately left for New York and the fourth ‘A’ who has generously afforded me accommodation and recuperating time in her flat has left for India on vacation.
So, the only shopping I have been doing is grocery shopping … guess it’s time to take care of my belly …



… and the fact that I had to surrender the yummiest grilled trout on tile in Pristina in exchange for an onion burger that had no onion or beef patty in it! only burnt cheese topping over a ala Pristina interpretation of a cordon bleu with a twist made up of chicken-pork minced patty with slices of gammon embedded in the patty, rendering it inedible for my muslim friend.
The Anatolia region thereafter did make up for my trout craving; though the fish was beautiful, it was not as gorgeously done as in Pristina. With that, I am trying my own version and will be popping one of these trout which I had marinated overnight into the grill in the next 10 minutes as the oven preheats.
bon petite!

Grilled trout seasoned with rock salt, crushed paprika, garlic pepper and lemon juice served with Bocconcini mozzarella and semi dried Casalingas tomatoes in classic oregano and pure virgin olive oil dressing… 

A dash of rocket leaf would have sealed the deal with a zig-zag trickle of 30 year old balsamic vinegar on the base of the plate (more for decor effect, though these aged balsamic vinegars are to die for – sweet tasting with treacle like texture if you haven’t tried it before), but I’m flying home tomorrow and didn’t want to end stocking an empty home up.

The verdict?
I’m investing in a trout farm!




7 thoughts on “Europe Diary: the $HOPPING marathon

  1. Olympic Tix?Does it come with complimentary flight and accommodation?ha ha haaaaThe shopping bit I cannot comment or contribute other than she sure knows herself when she says she's high maintenance! Oi, don't get upset ok? Just repeating after you.

  2. Oye! You are a meanie.I didn't shop … and besides there's no crime if I do given that I had lost all my prized possession not once but twice in a span of 3 months!!!Geez man… or shall I say "MEN!"

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