Friday, July 29, 2005

A fish out of water or one more reason why regular people can't buy expensive stuff...

This is an anecdote from my "Stuff the happened to me while traveling in Europe" diary:
I was walking along the Champs-Élysées with mom, dad and Mariu, when we saw a Cartier store. The wristband of my "Must 21" watch was asking for a much needed break, so I decided to go in the store to buy a new one.
Now let me tell you this before I continue. I have split personalities. While at work, I dress very formal and am always very professional (though my happy go lucky spirit is always there). Whenever I travel, I do it in the most comfortable way possible: jeans, t-shirts, sneakers and baseball caps.
Anyways, we all went in the store. This hunk of a guy opened the door for us (he was like 6'7"), and then the atmosphere suddenly turned heavy. Here we were, surrounded by millions of dollars, me wearing some worn out jeans, a pair of puma sneakers, some t-shirts AND an Aguilas Cibaeñas cap. I felt all the eyes upon us, but I actually didn't care. A very nice lady approached us and asked if we needed some help (I imagined the "what are these bums doing here???" thought in her head). As soon as I showed her my watch everything changed. We turned into Dominican Royalty in her eyes. I told her I wanted to buy a new band, and she asked me to follow her. We were going down to a very secret and important Cartier vault, so not everyone could go. My parents, who are really not very much into that sort of bs, decided to stay and enjoy the view while Mariu and I went to the vault.
I must really say the ambiance in the shop was just perfect. Perfect lighting, perfect music, perfect temperature, perfect people.. and me in my worn out jeans and my baseball cap.
Anyways, we followed the nice lady to the back of the shop, where we boarded a very beautiful elevator. When the doors opened, we found ourselves down in the vault. She told us someone would come to help us shortly, and we were left there gazing around. There was a lady with a Fifi (aka a nice little french poodle.. why are they always called Fifi?) that was wearing what we believed was a diamond necklace (the dog and the lady both). A person came by and asked us if we wanted some champagne or anything (nothing less than Veuve Clicquot please), but gracefully declined. After 2 minutes another nice little french lady comes and tends to us.
I don't know why, but everyone down there was whispering. When I took off my watch, she handed me a padded suede tray because I believe she wasn't allowed to touch the watch. When she showed me the available wristbands, she waved some kind of object in front of a wall and suddenly the wall opened up and out came trays with lots of stuff in it. When I chose the one I wanted she carefuly took the watch with her and said she would be back shortly. 15 minutes went by (I was wondering what my parents were doing and joking around with Mariu about all the people that were down there) and then she came back. She had put on some white gloves and, holding the tray again, took my watch and proceeded to strap it on my hand with such delicacy I thought it was going to break (if she knew how I treated it she would've died!). The guys had been kind and decent enough to clean it and do a general checkup on it (it looked better than new). But then again we remembered we were Dominican Royalty, so that was to be expected. After paying and signing a bunch of papers, we said goodbye and ran (yes, RAN!) up the stairs, where we met my parents. We were laughing all the way to the door, and when we got out we laughed even harder and told mom and dad about our experiences down at the "magnificent vault of dreams", speaking in a normal tone of voice and feeling finally free.
Fishes out of water? Nah.. just being ourselves, no matter where we were...

6 comments:

henry siteber said...

Great job describing the experience. It made me feel like I was there with you. I had a similar experience house hunting.

Anonymous said...

Tu al parecer eres una de las niñitas ricas en DR, ademas de creida. Que pena, pense que eras diferente.

Gabs said...

Did I miss something? Why the hostility mr Anonymous? This is just a story that happens to take place at Cartier. Lo de "creida" no se ve por ningun sitio. Parece q el del complejo es otro---pero de inferioridad...

annush said...

O sea, es verdad que los complejos son una cosas grande...
Por eso es que la gente no progresa!

Anonymous said...

Eso me paso a mi cuando fui a comprarme un carro nuevo, imaginate sali del trabajo con mi camisita de compan~ia, fui a la audi y ni caso me querian hacer, despues coji para la BMW, pues mis dolares tambien son verdes. Total, que en la BMW me trataron como a un rey, con respeto sin abrir la cartera y sin saber que ese dia este morenito les iva a dar un cheque de 70K dolares por mi nuevo BMW. Las apariencias engañan, don't be a fool.

juan de los palotes said...

I agree with the first comment great job describing the experience, and then you always have the jacomo who thinks that enjoying the beter things in life is wrong,(what an ass),,,,anyhow funny thing happened to me once i walked into a car dealerin shorts and t-shirt and cap de las aguilas por cierto, y ni caso me hicieron, tuve que ir al vendedor y presentarme cuando le entregue mi tarjeta de negocios todo cambio....thats life