Wide Awake in Wonderland

We’re only dancing on this earth for a short while

Stylist to the Gypsies October 10, 2008

So every country has its class system. Sometimes it’s overt (take for example, India), and sometimes you have to read between the lines. A few nights ago, I was talking to a man from Malmo, Sweden (I’ve actually met three people from Malmo in the last week…and they’ve all been delightful, but that really has nothing to do with my point). Anyway, Rob was telling me that a lot of the Swedes go to Norway to work because the pay is so much higher. And then he added, with a particular glance in my direction, “We’re the Mexicans.” Touche.

For better or worse, where America has its huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the Balkans have the gypsies. In the various warnings I received to minimize my time in Bucharest (if not avoid it altogether), I was told in hushed tones, “It’s a town of 2 million people…and 500,000 of them are gypsies!!!!!!”

They stand out a little without even trying as they have a darker complexion than many of the Romanians and Bulgarians. This probably poses a challenge to any tourists with a St. Tropez tan.

However, it”s not all brown skin and black hair. What makes the gypsies notable is their fashion sensibility. If you ever wondered what happened to the hideous clothing of the seventies…look no further than Romania. Essentially, think about the ugliest couch you ever saw. And then imagine the polyester afghan your threw in the dumpster after the aunt that made it finally died. Throw in some fluorescent colors, bad mattresses, and maybe six or seven competing floral patterns. Don’t forget to use a large plastic bag as a suitcase! Now your gypsy look is complete.

So I started wondering, WHY ARE THEY DRESSING THIS WAY!? If you knew your blond hair and all-denim outfit made you the target of racism and prejudice, wouldn’t you maybe consider some black slacks or perhaps a subtle pair of khakis with a turtleneck? Would you still slip into the acid wash jacket with the same cavalier swagger?

And that’s how it happens that I find myself walking down the street behind a couple women looking like a 1972 flea market. and it dawns on me: THEY NEED ME. And if things don’t work out with my would-be illustrious and award-winning writing career, I’m thinking there could be a niche market as a  Gypsy  personal stylist? I could be their Coco Chanel. My mission would be to teach the value of flourescent floral patterns as an ACCENT. Sure a hot pink paisley head scarf is kicky, but maybe it would be better tied around the neck of your dog? Just a suggestion. No need to pull a knife. Maybe sleep on it?


4 Responses to “Stylist to the Gypsies”

  1. Bill Says:

    I seem to remember that you wrote about going through a “hippie” phase at some point early in life. Are you sure that you haven’t found paradise? Imagine the possibilities….love beads, peace signs, bell bottom jeans, etc. all around you!

  2. […] bookmarks tagged subtle Stylist to the Gypsies saved by 4 others     Oneblood121 bookmarked on 10/10/08 | […]

  3. Lucky7Star Says:

    Okay, the scarf that the women wear around their head is called a (not sure of the spelling) but pronounced “da clo”… Thing is that there maybe only 500,000 in Bulgaria but world wide its estimated that they numbers are perhaps closer to 10 million… Still this is only a guess because they do not do the census thing very well… But they do have their own music, food and language, which is called Romanesque. You do have a bit of the Sarah Palin look to you so that if anyone migh become the next Coco Channel to the Gypsy the job is yours… More likely you will succumb to the lifestyle since you already possess a bit of the wanderlust about you. There are different tribes of Gypsies those who do not stay in houses and in constant travel are the bimbo, the other major tribes are the Goldarash and the Machawain (not sure of the spelling). Thing is they d have a common language and customs and they keep good contact all over through their own grapevine. Sounds like you’re having a great time but do take care as their more likely to steal your heart than your wallet. A very fun loving and lovable people.

  4. savanvleck Says:

    I would love to visit India and have no prejudice against the Indian people. However, if I ever came close to having a prejudice, it was when I worked for an engineering firm, in the ?late 70s, in Chicago. I was in payroll, and of 3,000 employees, there were 1,000 engineers from India.

    They treated the rest of us, non-engineers, at least, like dirt. It was explained to me that they were educated upper-cast and hence we were lower cast. I thought it was rather stupid myself to treat the poeple figuring out and handing you your paycheck like dirt. And, it doesn’t take a degree to figure that out.

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