Saturday, 10 September 2011

The art of traveling with a hat

Our wedding was followed almost immediately by another wedding. And this wedding required a hat. Having decided to take on this challenge, I considered buying one (preferably disposable given our enormous apartment) in Hong Kong but couldn't face traveling half way across the globe to Rome and then Athens and then to Paros to Paris to Lyon to Pierrelatte with a flying saucer under my arm (in addition to a wedding dress and everything else one could need-for-ones-own-wedding).

That said, my friend Ms. TT wisely noted that it's perfectly easy to travel with a hat as long as you have a) a hat box and b) a gentleman to carry it. So I then knew that once I got round to getting a hat I would be pretty much sorted as long as I had a hat box. Thanks T.

I decided to wait until we got to Paris to seek out head gear. With our train leaving at 5pm, and all the French time needed for petit dejeuner, dejeuner and chatting (read sucking up) with the concierge, that left us with about an hour to find me something suitable that didn't make me look like a scarecrow. I also knew I would need a hat box, if I were to follow Ms. TT's advice and be able to travel in comfort and style.
Surprisingly, I found a hat pretty easily at what seemed to be the hat shop in Saint-Germain-des-Pres. I say that only because the owner and shop assistant were so incredibly bossy and affirmative in their opinions, that I could only consider them to be world renowned experts.

So once they'd decided on my hat, I then looked the owner in the eye and said, "Now I need a hat box."
She pursed her bright red lips and said, "No. You don't."
I stood a little taller (remembering to keep my shoulders back) and said, "No, really. I need it to travel." I couldn't believe that I needed to explain the basics to these hat masters. Tsk.
She shook her head and looked at me with scrutiny, "You only ave one hat, so you don't need a hat box." she shrugs, "If you ad many hats, then you would need a hat box. You don't. So you can carry it in a bag." She looked down at me again (even though she was half my size) and pursed her lips further, obviously thinking disapprovingly that il est evident que vous n'avez jamais eu de chapeaux de Rolls Royce ou d'amants celebres.

So, there I was, with a hat the size of a brass cymbol stuffed into a paper bag, and my dreams of T gallantly chaperoning me with a hat box squashed forever.

Note that me forgetting it on the train 3 hours later and T having to run after it and then sprint to the next station to pick it up before the SNCF closed forever is clearly a detail which reinforces Ms. TT's advice that you can really only travel with a hat if you have a) a hat box and b) a [fast] gentleman to carry [rescue] it. Ca c'est clair.


  1. Hahahaha. I know the feeling of being looked down by a French dwarf oh too well. How dare they??!!
    PS: Miss u muchly.

  2. PPS: Are you going to stay in HK? Thinking about the next destination, i.e. in 2-3 years...