After my adventures at the Bon Marché last week, Japan stayed woven into my week.
Before sending E back to school in the land of polar vortexi, a quick trip to Uniqlo for their winter HeatTech under things was on our “to do” list. As often happens, a “quick trip” turned into an adventure when my stomach started to gurgle. “Would she mind if we stopped for lunch along the way?,” I queried. A starving college student, home for the holidays, you can guess her answer.
So we headed to Kunitoraya, the best udon joint in the city. So good that even I don’t mind waiting in line. Not far from Uniqlo, in the 2nd arrondisement, Kunitoraya draw an ecclectic crowd of suits and fashionistas, providing great eye candy as you wait. I saw at least three women I was dying to approach and plead, “dress me… please show me how to dress like that.” As I stood there I noticed the latest fall fashion trend; long pants with flat, strappy sandals. Actually, I am not really sure if its a fashion trend, or a survival technique to deal with the cold, rainy, hot, muggy days we’ve been having. In any case, I liked the look and have made it my own.
We were soon at the counter, facing the street, the steam from our dishes blurring the not so picturesque view of motorcycle parking and a rather disconcerting pile of dog poop. Fortunately, the delicately spiced eggplant pickles and grilled beef distracted me into my bowl of perfectly prepared rice.
On our way to Uniqlo, I stopped mid-stride in front of a small Japanese gift shop, confusing E and perhaps causing a bit of a traffic snarl in my wake. Cool Japan sells Wabofu, an organic cotton cloth that I use for make-up removal. They sell large cloths for bathing, but the things are magic, scrubbing you clean gently, without the need for any product.
At last, to Uniqlo for that “quick” visit. Often a bust shop, the place was hopping. My idol, Ines de la Fressange had designed an entire line for Uniqlo and our timing just happened to coincide with its arrival. Never mind HeatTech, we were facing an entire department of affordable fashion. Our basket filled quickly as we hesitated between simple cotton tunics or elaborate plaid shirts, wool coats, or rain coats.
We left only an hour later, ready for fall with some Parisian chic and a Japanese twist.