I like presents. I especially like giving presents, for any number of reasons: I like pleasing my friends, a present is a memento of our friendship, giving a present makes any occasion into a holiday, and the list goes on. But I dont like giving presents in the summer because it means racking my brain, which is already melting from the summer heat. Besides, the choice of presents becomes limited in the summer. For example, in the summer you cant give a friend candles because theyd melt. And you cant give her Godiva chocolates for the same reason. Maybe a photo album? It would combust with the heat! Maybe a pendant? It would leave a white spot on her tan. These were my thoughts as I sat in the office trying to decide what to give friends who were born in the summertime. Suddenly, a friend suggested pillows. Why not? Pillows are stylish, practical and cheap!
Then I remembered about the recently opened stylish store Vostok-Zapad. Its a small store offering a large variety of stylish things, such as furniture, blankets, rugs and trinkets. But I was interested in pillows. The first pillow I saw was a nice small linen cushion stuffed with aromatic herbs. What particularly attracted me was the orange color of the herbs. I bought it. Regrettably, there was only one on offer. Now I had to find it a mate, since a pair of pillows would feel more comfortable than one. The second pillow I saw had a felt pillowcase and was stuffed with aromatic herbs. I immediately christened it a "winter pillow" since felt is a warm fabric. The pillowcase was white and decorated with a pattern of an Indian elephant. "How stylish!" I thought.
The store also offered an intricately decorated Uzbek pillow that seemed designed for the bedroom of a sheikh.
While I was exploring the two rooms of Vostok-Zapad, my friend, the one who prompted me on the pillow idea, coughed up a pretty large sum of money to buy a whole set of linen toys from the famous designer Oksana Yarmolnik, wife of actor and showman Leonid Yarmolnik. I would also have liked to buy these pretty white angels, but I couldnt think of any use for them.
You cant give candles in the summer, but you can give lamps. I saw a cute one in the Formula O2 gallery: functional and decorated with sea polyps. Moreover, it can be used as a nightlight, too. Its origin added to my excitement: The lamp was made by Filipino craftsmen. Though it was pretty expensive $300 I would not regret giving it to a good friend.
The design gallery Novodel also has a lot of lamps on offer. There are lamps intricately shaped like cactuses or constructed with ordinary loofahs. There are not many places where you can find such exotic things. The variety of colors is also impressive: yellow, green, red and blue. That would be a cute gift, but totally impractical. What to do when the bulb burns out? An ordinary one wouldnt fit. Of course, you can redesign the whole thing so that it would work with serial light bulbs, but that would be a painstaking task. I do like to do something artsy in my leisure time, but that would be taking it too far.
If youre on a budget or just not in a position to buy anything expensive, try Roza Azora. Why am I even mentioning this trinket Mecca? Im not usually that kind of person, but I must confess that sometimes I find it exciting to rummage through a heap of old tiny bottles and vials. Wouldnt you agree that its fun to toy with a bottle that once contained Boudoir perfume from Vivien Westwood? And if you put it casually on your bedside table your guests would notice it and think that you were pretty well-off. Or you can fill it with some other perfume so that everybody gets puzzled trying to decipher the aroma. But lets get back to the topic. Roza Azora is a place to buy kettles! Real brass kettles made even before the October 1917 revolution. And they are polished so finely that you can use them in place of a mirror. Theyre fantastic!
Now that youve got a kettle, its time to get a teapot to match. Available at Eastern gallery Tangier are inexpensive Turkish teapots. But they are only decorative. Their spouts are dull. But they are beautifully patterned and will look nice in your kitchen.
However, the most precious thing about every present is not the item itself but the expression of care. You should not forget about this when choosing a present for your friend.
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