Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hurray for MUJI and Neti Pots

Yesterday I was with a bunch of shopping enablers - we went to the SOHO location of MUJI, a store based in Japan. It is IKEA and UNIQLO all blended together, with each carefully made item coated in earth tones. My prior experience with MUJI was in Japan, so I was determined to stay away from the clothes; what I learned from recent US transplants like UNIQLO was that Japanese clothing designers had a hard time creating appropriate clothing sizes for an American audience. To them, Americans are huge fat monsters (evidenced by my buying a one-size-fits-all shirt at a ritzy Tokyo department during my freshman-15 days and being horrified to learn that it didn't fit!!). They overcompensate their small proportioned clothing by making the American version 10 times larger than it should be. This makes some people inevitably happy - those who normally wear larges can feel special by wearing smalls, but midgets like me are relegated to shopping in the kiddie section (as is happening more and more - is it just me, or are clothing sizes getting bigger to accommodate our ballooning figures?). My clothing fears were soon realized when my friend laughingly showed me the conversion size, which listed a size 8 as a Small, a size 10 as a Medium, and so on. I was not deterred for long, however, and ended up buying too many things, one of which included this travel bag:
Yes, it looks very utilitarian, phone-orderish, and not chic at all, but I insist on its coolness. That is because it is made out of a hard, shiny, water-resistant material, to hold my ever increasing amount of toiletries, the most important one being my porcelain neti pot. By the way, if you are not converts to the phenomenon of the neti pot already, I have to emphasize that it is a necessary survival tool for those who live in the city and/or have really bad allergies and sinus infections! Admittedly, the idea of putting a teapot full of salt water in your nose in not very pretty; just go to YouTube and put in "Neti Pot," to see the grossness, but those who survive the first or second go of it (it feels like you are drowning in the ocean the first time you do it, and absolute heaven thereafter) it becomes an absolute staple of one's routine. It is so much of an addiction that I have to take it with me wherever I go, including weekend excursions. Hence the need for a hard case to tote along my little snot pot, as I have lovingly named it. Please take my word for it - try it a couple of times, and you too, will be a believer. Then throw away the benadryl forever!

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