Time: Six months ago. Place: Downtown Tehran.
I was spending some delirious last days shopping for the Great Halifax -Dalhousie Adventure. In a reactionary fit of “now I’m going to be a student and it’s time I put this fancy frippery aside”, I bought a very ugly big army-green canvas satchel bag in army green. It is huge, with thousands of pockets and flaps and dull bronzy metallic zippers and buckles, and can contain enough material and papers for fifty students. On the flight out to Canada, I spent most of those interminable flight hours anxiously transferring the visa-passports-tickets-landing-papers-money from one pocket to another, and then frantically searching the previous pocket a second later screaming to my daughter: “I’ve lost it! I’ve lost my passport! I’ve lost my purse!”
However, those of you who have been following this blog devotedly and breathlessly will know that sometime in mid-summer, I bought some Lancome stuff, and the free gift included a big summer tote, striped navy blue, red and white, with red trimmings, a red handle, and tied at the top with two satin red ribbons. Attached to the handles is a narrow silver chain, with a small Eiffel Tower dangling from it, and a plastic pencil-case, also striped red, navy blue and white. It is, of course, immeasurably more beautiful than the army satchel, and not studenty at all- more suitable for carrying beach clothes and bronze summery seaside make-up. In fact, I took it to my first Canadian party, and I was quite surprised that nobody fell to the ground frothing at the mouth and raving at its beauty. Then again, it was quite dark at the party, as these developed parties tend to be, and perhaps they didn’t see.
So, the crux of the matter: army-green satchel, or red and navy blue stripey beach bag to carry stuff for the classes?