Up to my old tricks again!

These titillating adventures which regularly punctuate my existence begin innocently enough but as often take upon a life of their own! I suppose I shall never change. I get into the same mischief in spite of my resolve to the contrary! Today’s theme was tinsel.

The inauguration of this particular episode was weeks or months ago when I was aimlessly roaming the internet using the Pinterest application. Pinterest pretends to be a social network but it is  a shameless source of every material ambition one could ever harbour. It is strictly visual. And its motive is correspondingly vulgar; namely, advertisement. In view of what I am about to relate, it obviously works!

My initial enquiry on Pinterest was prompted by a discovery I recently made on Jekyll Island; viz., inexpensive unisex bracelets made of a combination of string, leather, sterling silver, sea shells, plastics, seeds, crystals, semi-precious stones, etc.  Once Pinterest has hold of your interest it clings to it and revives and amplifies it every time you return to the Application.  On one of these return visits I was introduced to Buddha to Buddha sterling silver jewellery designed in Amsterdam and handmade in Bali. In matters of jewellery generally – and sterling silver in particular – I have perhaps more than the average experience. Based upon what I knew and what I had seen and owned in the past, the Buddha to Buddha stuff intrigued me. One piece especially caught my eye, the so-called Batul (named after the founder of the company).  Apparently each of the pieces is named after someone (though of course they also suffer the indignity of a SKU number if you look closely enough).

Batul 2 cm bracelet

Batul 2 cm bracelet

I suspected that the piece was not solid; that is, the constituent pieces were hollow. I concluded this for two reasons; one, the narrative about the article on the web site did not proclaim that the piece was solid (though it misleadingly referred to the “tough” and “bold” look of the article specifying that it was made of .925 sterling silver); and two, when I eventually connected by email with the Canadian importer of the articles  she failed to address my specific enquiry about whether the piece was solid sterling silver, preferring instead only to reiterate that it was made of sterling silver. Traditionally I avoid anything that is not solid. Indeed when I eventually examined the piece in person my first reaction was to reject it for that reason. This reservation was attenuated when I subsequently examined an identical though larger model of the same piece.  It too was hollow but the weight was greater. Furthermore a subsequent detailed examination of the piece disclosed that it was well made and of superior design, qualities which effectively accommodated what it lacked in pure bulk.

When I began looking at the Buddha to Buddha piece in earnest I was plagued by the knowledge that the article appeared to be shipped from Amsterdam which would likely entail at least exposure to Canada Customs and associated import duties (assuming the package didn’t make it under the radar). There would in any event be a standard delivery charge (normally UPS or FedEx). As a result I made enquiries about whether there were a Canadian outlet (I had already determined there was a distributor in USA but the same import considerations remained).

Two days ago I received a decidedly pleasant email from a woman identified as “Nicole” (without any further description, no family name, no address, no telephone number, no explanation of her association with Buddha to Buddha). What succeeded to attract me to Nicole was that she apologized for her delay in responding to my initial enquiry by telling me that she had recently suffered a “mortality” in her family (a comment which lent a singularly human element to our correspondence). I concluded that Nicole was French Canadian and for that reason it did not surprise me to learn that she was in Montréal. After several subsequent email exchanges between us it evolved that Nicole Séquin is the Canadian importer for Buddha to Buddha.  When I met her at the Château Champlain Hotel the next day in Montréal I learned that she supplies all other retailers in Canada with the Buddha to Buddha line (an association she has cultivated for the past two years).

Nicole confirmed that she had the item I wanted in stock. The initial assumption was that she would arrange to deliver it to my address; however, when she suggested that I could examine the article in person at Turcot Jewellers in the Château Champlain Hotel in downtown Montréal we decided to take her up on the opportunity and to make a day of it.

Our jaunt to Montréal yesterday went superbly well.  It was a sunny, hot summer day.  The drive was unhurried. When however we arrived within the City the traffic became overwhelming.  We lost our bearings to the Hotel in spite of having a GPS in the car.  I ended by going in the wrong direction, down streets which were closed to all but local traffic, having to take detours, turning left when illegal to do so and capitalizing upon narrow windows of opportunity to extricate myself from otherwise irrevocable destinations.  Even when we at last discovered the Hotel and its parking lot, the entrances to the parking lot were temporarily blocked by police cars pending the arrival of some dignitary. After going around the block at least twice we got into the parking area and then made our way cautiously through its subterranean caverns to an exceedingly tight parking spot.  As we got out of the car I exclaimed that I was never doing that again!  A young gentleman was approaching us as I said that and he replied in English that he understood our complaint.  He further explained that he was a Chef in the Hotel and we chatted accordingly in the elevator as we ascended to the Hotel.

Within moments we located Turcot Jewellers in the Grand Hall of the Hotel. Upon entering the emporium we were greeted by Nicole who had just arrived as well. After the usual amicable introductions (including Mr. Turcot himself whose fly I noticed was unfortunately down though I hadn’t the heart to tell him) we immediately engaged in a discussion of the bracelet. Nicole showed me a number of alternative items but I quickly decided upon the larger model of the one I had originally spied on the internet. Nicole, to her everlasting credit, had had the foresight to bring along the heavier model. The money transaction then ensued and we were shortly on our way, trinket in hand, out of the store, down the elevator and back into the swirl of traffic, determined to head home forthwith.

We crowned the excitement of our day by having a hamburger and fries at a roadside joint in Carleton Place.  We sat outside at a picnic table in the late afternoon, complimenting ourselves on another successful adventure!