Sonntag, 13. April 2008


When I first arrived in Zürich, I noticed many men buying flowers. My husband is a flower-buyer and I've always found that to be quite special. I would see these men and think "someone thinks that this flower buying man is special. Chances are, he thinks that someone is special too." All of this specialness would result in my smiling, quite broadly. Very very broadly. Freakishly broadly, in fact. If the men noticed they didn't show, and I went of glowing, with aching cheeks and the thought "there goes a special guy."

Not special.

He is not special. They are not special. It is not special to buy flowers for others in Zürich. It is a given. A totally beautiful given. It is such a given, that in order to make flower-giving the kind of special occasion that it is in other places in which I have lived, one must somehow make their flowers stand out. It is so typical, on any given Friday or Saturday, to see every third person in the street with a beautifully wrapped bouquet, that the only ones to stand out must be truly extraordinary.
The flower purchases which get my attention now, are the person climbing in a tram with, what appears to be, a large potted plant wrapped in paper. The pot, however, must be at least twice as wide as the middle of the person carrying it, in order to make any impression on a passerby at all. Also on the list is any long tropical plant. Indeed, any flower or plant which is awkward to carry or lift, now takes the place of the act of flower giving, as being "thoughtful". To give a bouquet, it seems, is simply expected. To give an arrangement which could cause injury: that is special.

Flowers are simply currency. One brings flowers when invited to dinner as a show of even-stevens. Last night, for example I brought flowers to a birthday apero, although I had already given the birthday celebrant a gift. This was, truthfully, in lieu of actually helping the others to prepare the apero (something that may or may not have been expected.)

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