27 October 2008

Resolution of the Present Situation

I began to panic this week, as I always do as the sun moves into Scorpio and October draws to a close. During the first half of November, many of my near and (to a greater or lesser degree) dear have birthdays, which require me to find suitable gifts: starting with Papa on the 3rd and followed by The Ex on the 6th, PhD Linguist on the 8th and Maman on the 15th, to name just a few. 

Papa is always the hardest to buy for and I usually keep an eye out all year long for suitable birthday, Christmas and Father's Day presents for him because it's nigh on impossible to find something at the last minute unless I spend at least an entire weekend trawling around various shops. Of course, being in San Francisco does make this easier--not because there are necessarily more or better shops but the shops that are here are different and contain things he might like but wouldn't be able to buy in England. Nonetheless, yesterday morning I was worried as I still hadn't found anything.

Luckily, today, I struck it lucky: as I waked along Sutter Street, I spotted a shop called ka'riktər--naturally the sight of a schwa made my heart beat faster, even if the IPA always catches my attention (ka'riktər being the word "character" in IPA). The shop is filled with a plethora of travel- and European-themed gifts--there were some Tintin and Asterix items and cool passport holders, notebooks and bags. Amid this little enclave of awesomeness, I found some vintage French roadsigns, which are obviously intended as objets d'art. They had one, in blue and yellow, that read, "Nice--22 km" and even though my parents' flat in Cannes is more like 34 km from Nice, it is almost exactly 22 km from Nice airport and anyway, I'm pretty confident that both parents will love it (I hope so given that at $120, it was too much for me to buy just for Papa)--there are some advantages to them being born 12 days apart, I guess.

Now, I can relax again, although I still have a few more gifts to buy (and I will still keep an eye out for possible Christmas presents) and with so many similar design/gift stores (like Parklife, for example), it's fairly painless stumbling upon appropriate presents.

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