Perfume Porn

WARNING: CONTAINS EXPLICIT FRAGRANCE ADDICTION AND HARDCORE SCENT ACTION.

(This post is dedicated to Carmencanada, Louise and Patty, my partners in crime! Special thanks to Carmen for putting up with me on this — now you see what Patty has to deal with…)

As some of you have figured out, my Annam post from last week was actually written a couple of months ago. After I finished writing it, all wistful ‘n stuff (I´ll never have a bottle and I´m Okay With That), I was googling for images to put in the post and – lo and behold – came across what looked like a hand holding a bottle of Annam on a baffling website in French. Huh. I stared at it awhile and grabbed the text. Running it through Babelfish got me something like “exchange,” so I emailed Louise and asked her to please take a look at it. Louise confirmed it looked like a swap site, and suggested sensibly enough that I email our mutual friend Carmencanada in Paris to investigate further – like, was this legit?

So I did, and Carmen did, and she reported back that it was indeed a swap site, which you have to register to post on, and she would make some inquiries, including whether the swapper spoke English. I wondered if the person would swap me that Annam for some nice Euros, the simplest solution, as I could Paypal her the money. Carmen followed up and let me know I would have to offer a fragrance up for swap, and she would need to broker the deal as the translator. I offered to buy my end and send it to her, whatever the swapper wanted, was there something from the US that might be hard for the swapper to get otherwise? We kicked some ideas and details (sizes, etc.) back and forth, with Carmen translating. Eventually the swapper decided she wanted YSL Cinema, an easy enough transaction, right?

Except I hit my first bump, which is: I can get YSL Cinema on US eBay (and probably our discounters) for $35.00, but it was going to cost me $110+ on French eBay, thanks to our exchange rate and the French apparently having less of a gray market in things like fragrance. This chafed me. Should I buy a bottle here and ship it? I dug around on the internet some more. Eventually, (and this is insane) I figured out I could buy a bottle significantly cheaper in pounds from a UK discounter who shipped in the EU, so I went ahead and did that instead.

Which brought us to the second half of the problem: neither the swapper nor Carmen wanted to go through the French post office rigmarole to ship to the US. I´m not sure of the specifics, but I guess the French are making the perfume shipping even more onerous than the U.S. How was I going to get the bottle of Annam back here?

At this point, one or two of you readers are thinking: wow, March, you really to get a life. One or two others of you are thinking: so why are you not making arrangements to fly over there and pick it up already, you lazy sow? And bring me back a bell jar while you´re at it! But fortunately at that point my BFF Patty was on her way to France and Italy, and I was sure she wouldn´t mind hooking up with Carmen to get my bottle, right? Right?!?! I mean, it´s not like she´s got anything better to do on her once-in-a-lifetime vacation with her family!!! I´m just adding to the glamour! And Paris is so teeny and easy to get around in!

So, Patty and Carmen agreed they´d connect in Paris. Carmen would meet first with the swapper, a student at the Sorbonne (this assuming my bottle of Cinema showed up at Carmen´s place quickly), make the swap, give the bottle to Patty, and … Patty would send the bottle home with her mom!!! Thanks mom!!! Then all that would be left would be for Patty to get the bottle back from her mom, who lives in another state, and send it to me! Easy peasy!

Okay seriously. We spent how many hours on this? For a bottle of perfume I haven´t seen, and probably won´t see any time soon. I hear “the transaction” went down. As far as I know, the bottle made it home with mom, although if it didn´t, Patty – this would be the perfect hilarious time for you to chime in that someone stole it out of your mom´s luggage! If not … well, it´s not like I don´t have anything else to wear.

Newbies: you laugh. But I´m telling you straight, keep at it and this will be you in the not too distant future. Don´t say you weren´t warned. You´ll be trolling for someone Hungarian to track down a little something you heard was only available in this little kiosk near the central train station in Budapest

Fellow addicts: I invite you to write your most absurd swap/acquisition rigmaroles in the comments below, as a cautionary tale for our more virginal readers.

  • o0chels0o says:

    hi,
    I have a bottle of annam tan giudicelli. Itis a 50ml bottle. It has 60% perfume left in it. Im beggining to think itis the last 50ml bottle left! Im selling it on ebay if anyone is interested 🙂

  • Ms. C. Yeung says:

    This is a request from HK reader. Anyone know where to sell the Love Token perfume from Mary Quant? I love it so much as it contains a strong stawberry favour. Here is no more stock in HK.

    Please email me [email protected]

    Thanks.

    C Yeung

  • Carol Sasich says:

    …..can’t make it to Chicago…maybe not even fall ball…so Italy will be heaven.

  • Carol Sasich says:

    :):):)…..can’t make it to Chicago…maybe not even fall ball…so Italy will be heaven.

  • tmp00 says:

    Well, none of mine have been as convoluted, Just A) have bell jar shipped to friends parents house in Switzerland when friend was going to visit or B) beg friend who is going to Paris take pity. I think the most fraught one was a trade with Lee, and that was because although I clearly marked the box as “valueless tacky American Snow-globes of no value whatever to discerning Brits” it still took forever and a week for the damned thing to get there.

  • mikeperez23 says:

    Giggle, giggle, giggle

    I can totally relate March – I think all of us have those ‘moments’ where acquiring that ONE UNATTAINABLE RARE fragrance suddenly turns from a fantasy to an obsessive reality.

    Glad to hear I’m not alone. You have NO idea how hard it was to acquire a sample of Patou Pour Homme. Jeez!

  • Disteza says:

    Oooh, I’ve got one! I found out from my dad that my uncle and his wife (with whom I communicate via terse Christmas cards once a year) were going to Paris this April. I figured that I could talk him, or at least his wife, into swinging by the Palais Royale and indulging my Serge habit. After many non-responsive e-mails, I finally got a confirmation that they would swing by and pick my up my babies, er, um, bell jars. I told them that I would send them a check for the perfume and the cost to ship it to me since they live in another state. I waited, waited, waited, and never heard back from them. I finally got their phone number from my dad and called them, only to find out that my aunt opened the bottles, and liked them so much that she decided to keep them for herself! x(

    Since no money had exchanged hands I couldn’t demand that she send them, but I seriously doubt that I’ll ever be sending them a Christmas card again.

    • Musette says:

      Honeypie,

      What a walking pile of Ebola-encrusted dog poop (your aunt, I mean)! If you want to slip over to that other state and whack her with a blunt object, I will alibi you!

      • Disteza says:

        Thanks, I’m still trying to rein the fury in about that one. I mean, I’m glad I introduced her to real perfume, but did she have to take the Rose de Nuit AND the Tubereuse Criminelle? Couldn’t she have sent me one or the other? And it’s not like there was much in the way of an apology either. I had to explain to the other bell jars about how their sisters were stolen by an evil witch…:p

    • March the Maleficent says:

      That is … heinous. Send me her address. I’ll mail her a big fat atomizer vile of CB Musk mixed with Yatagan and label it “Attar of Roses — spray heavily.” <):)

  • violetnoir says:

    March, this is too much, even for me.

    All I have to say is: Sometimes it’s all in the hunt. :d

    Hugs!

  • Andy says:

    Wow, loved your story. Reminds me of my ordering shoes over the internet (once, never again!) and ending up talking to other clients of the company, trying to figure out which shoes ended up where…a total mess.
    But besides that: I have nothing comparable to tell, but happen to make fake birthday presents from time to time, sending out samples to Canada (almost the worst) or Italy (can’t beat that one!) painting flowers on the outside, and packing things in pink in the inside, trying to prevent customs from opening up my little parcels…
    I am always amazed how –in the time of global markets and appraisal of e-commerce –we have lost what was left of our postal services.

    • jane says:

      Andy darling
      you are so gracious. Never, in the more than several times you’ve sent me samples, some as prizes, have you divulged that Canada is one of the toughest. I have always been surprised that it seems so easy for you when so difficult for everyone else!
      Jane

  • minette says:

    yes, that is exactly where it all leads. and happily! and that is the sort of thing tv producers do all the time – all the planning and logistics and crossing of fingers – so you could now work in television if you wanted.

    but i have to tell you, the entire time i was reading about your adventure i was thinking, that bottle looks like a diaphragm! i know it doesn’t really, it looks more like a weird talking clam, but diaphragm is what came to mind and stayed.

    • aelily says:

      Yeap, having missed last week’s post,that is what I thought too:”>

    • March says:

      So: dia — wow, there’s another word I can’t spell, with the mini looking like a hearing aid … I’ll never look at the bottle the same way again! 😮

  • Anthony says:

    That… was… hilarious!!! Since I live down here in Mexico now, I basically have to WAIT for the 4 times a year I visit the states to get my niche fixes and decant sampling done (shipping problems). I have been up to now been able to stave off INTENSE URGES to have fragrances shipped to P.O. Boxes in various border towns and flying up just to get them… The flow at which those words just poured out makes me realize how many times I’ve fantasized about this, but the reality is that these shipping hoops save me a lot of money because if it were easier, I’d be poor hahaha, and waiting to get home to Florida allows me that tragic intensity gained by having to wait to get my hands on something that I fell in love with the LAST time I was home 🙂

  • Robin says:

    This is hysterical. I didn’t even think you liked the Annam all that much.

  • Shelley says:

    Nothing so convoluted, nothing with a suitable dash of covert, but…I must admit to involving my accomodating spouse in a couple of local swaps, and I have offered to have him wear a red ascot to help him stand out among the throng…./:)

    The best twisted path to a fantastic deal involves a local pick-up for a non-fragrance eBay item…again, with helpful spouse spearheading the actual pick-up…I’ll simply say this: when the chair, no matter how groovy, costs less than $100, but the body damage to the vehicle has you calculating whether or not to use your (high deductible) car insurance, the total cost is NOT WORTH the savings in shipping. :o:o 8-|

    • sariah says:

      Seriously – a red ascot? Did he do it?

      • March says:

        Yeah, did he? And my general eBay rule is, if I actually care about it, it’s too much money. /:) Furniture sounds iffy.

        • Shelley says:

          Well, I believe my exact offer was “I can ask him to wear a red scarf,” but somehow “ascot” seemed like the thing to say this morning…and no, he didn’t wear one, but he’s a goofy enough good sport that I don’t doubt he’d wear some identifying item…within reason… 😉

          As for the furniture angle…I’ve only tried it twice. The success was actually a shipped piece (another chair). The chair that led to car damage was local pick-up, and as such, I figured we’d have leverage with the opportunity to eyeball it…and I think of myself as a rehabber, so at $45 for a mid-century twirling rocking barrel chair, I was ready to attend to wood and joints as well as reupholster. As it turns out, the thing became such a painful reminder, it ended up in somebody else’s house….

          Much. happier. with. perfume. ;))

  • Kelley says:

    My most recent stressful perfume purchase which I ended up posting on “Perfume Smellin’ Things” simply for pity was from the (then) Swiss Montale Boutique. I placed my first order online only to hear nothing for several weeks. No receipt, no emails, nothing. I kept my hopes up by reading other posts on Basenotes about successful transactions that included absurd gifts like full extra bottles of other Montales included!

    At this point I should mention I live in Mexico and it is tough to get stuff here through the mail so I had it sent to my sister in the US. This wasn’t easy either because the USPS required my sister have my power of attorney. Yikes, that was tough. As soon as the box arrived, and found it included two extra bottles (my sister couldn’t remember what the names were because she hates perfumes of all kinds and didn’t want to get close enough to the bottles to read them), I placed another order, even after the official sale ended for some more Black Aoud. What a glutton for punishment I can be.

    Weeks went by. I started hearing horrible stories on Basenotes about huge postage charges and half-full bottles arriving. And the stories started to get worse. There was one from a poor guy in Austria that ordered Black Aoud but the postage was so high that he wrote to the boutique to have them send it to another address in a country where the postage was much cheaper. The problem was when he finally got a response from the boutique, they had opened his package…found the bottle of Black Aoud and sent it to another fragrance freak in the US. Can you guess how this ends? They sent it to me!

    To the poor guy in Austria…I am so sorry. The bottle wasn’t full. It was also dented beyond recognition. Almost all of my freebies were Greyland which is nice but who needs 4 bottles of Greyland? I have given all away except one. I vow never to do anything like this again for at least a month or so!

    • March says:

      I read your post! That was so great. I laughed. Although I can’t believe the way they work, are their boxes packed by monkeys? Some people got 15 extra bottles of everything, and some people get half a dented bottle and an old cheese sandwich… 😕 it does add to the suspense factor, doesn’t it?

      Mexico makes our Post Office look like the model of efficiency. I hear Italy’s the same way.

  • Nava says:

    March,

    I don’t have a fragrance anecdote anywhere near worth relating to your story. And as you probably already know, I consider myself hardcore. But, I will admit to some cross-border smuggling of some odd items:

    From the US to Canada: Smart Beat mayonnaise, Weight Watchers smoothie mixes, those little rubber grip thingies you stick to the bottom of the bathtub to prevent falling and breaking your neck, Smuckers grape jelly, Teavana Tea, US postage stamps, and many more odd items (mostly foods).

    From Canada to the US: Tim Hortons coffee, Bagel World bagels (not those nasty hockey pucks), Vichy and La Roche Posay skin care products – before you could get Mexoryl sunscreen in the US, President’s Choice organic peanut butter, and last but not least, many, many, many Cuban cigars.

    Lame, I know, but you can relate, eh? 🙂

    • Musette says:

      Nava,

      Not lame at all! All that stuff is the stuff of life! I have a friend who used to send me Mexoryl products from London all the time, bless him, and I’ve smuggled in more food into Canada than I want to admit to!

      My other one is shampoo, mailed to Holland. A friend uses some dandruff shampoo you can only get here and it comes in these ginormous bottles. When his sister flew for KLM it was easier – we’d meet and do the handoff – but now he has to order it online, get it shipped here, then I have to package it like it’s plutonium and send it off to Holland. He’s a dear friend and so worth it (and I live in a place where there are never more than 2 people at the post office at any given time) but the first time I packed it the postal manager made me repack it in ziploc bags.

      • Nava says:

        I must admit, I used to be a lot worse. I used to smuggle home bags full of Lush products before they opened stores here in the US (I now have one about 1/2 hour from my house). I can relate to your shampoo story. Packing things has become such a hassle, I hold my breath every time I go to the post office. What ya gonna do? 🙂

    • March says:

      Those all seem like eminently necessary things to bring back and forth. [-(

  • Rappleyea says:

    You made my dreary, stormy Monday morning! Great post – thank you.

    My story isn’t side splittingly funny like yours, but it happened just last month and I was a swap/split virgin at the time. Of course one of the decants had to go to England. Okay, I can do this. No problem. I got the perfume decanted, labeled, and very securely packed and went on-line to print postage and the custom form. Unfortunately the custom form could ONLY go into the “official plastic sleeve” available at the post office. So I went to the post office, got the plastic sleeve, only to read on the instructions with it that it couldn’t be wrapped around the package, it had to lie flat! ARRRGGGG!!! The sleeve was way bigger than my neat and tidy package, so I had to repackage the decant into a much larger box just to accomodate the custom form and its plastic sleeve. Happy end to story as I’ve heard that the decant arrived safely in England.

    • March says:

      The packaging!! They’re trying to break our spirit with that one. The women at the post office yell at me no matter what. If/when they figure out I’m sending perfume it’s all over.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Impressive! I don’t think I will EVER be able to beat that one, no matter how much more obsessive I become. 🙂 And I am sure that I am headed in that direction, considering how much time I have spent trying to acquire new fragrances while my basket sits full of as-yet-untried samples and decants.

  • Musette says:

    ~o)

    that represents the coffee I almost spit out!=))

    You are Diana! I’ve gone through some weird machinations, though not yet on perfume. My OCD is all about the chase as well, my sister. Long before the Internet ( when everything was still on microfiche) I wanted to find a children’s film I’d seen in college in St. Louis (20 years before)….had to drive to St Louis, spend hours in the library (and this didn’t even begin to account for the math I had to do – ‘let’s see….it was either 1974 or ’75 because I was staying in xxxx dorm when that girl was electrocuted and I had to give her mouth to mouth…..it was raining…was it April?”…that kind of thing. I looked through 36 TV Guides to try to find the listing…finally found it….then had to find the person @ CBS who could help me, then to Checkoslovokia (via mail) …and so on…

    then the internet came along and I ordered it on Amazon. Where’s the fun in that?

    And kudos to your very kind friends who aided and abetted you in your madness!
    @};[email protected]};[email protected]};-

    • Musette says:

      How embarrassing! I just realized I misspelled Czechoslovakia!:o

      I’m goin’ straight to Spelling Bee Hell!

    • vida says:

      MUSETTE!!!! You left out the punchline! What’s the name of the children’s film?? http://perfumeposse.com/smilies/yahoo_cry.gif
      :((

      • Musette says:

        It is a cult film called Three Wishes for Cinderella. When I saw it one Saturday morning in college, I was taken with it because the heroine isn’t a wimp – she outshoots and outsmarts both the prince and her vile stepmother and stepsister…very empowering, if one can imagine Cinderella at all empowered. It was shown as Three Nuts for Cinderella (there are some hazelnuts that play a pivotal role).

        So at the earliest inception of the internet I googled ‘Three Nuts for Cinderella’ – I got more p-o-r-n than you can shake a stick at and a Three Stooges movie.

        We’ve come a long way, baby! But you know, somehow it was more fun when I really had to hunt for stuff!:-?

  • Carol Sasich says:

    This was a great story !!
    I can see creating a scenario just like this…I just sent an e-mail to four of my perfume friends , offering to pick something up for them when I am in Italy next month with sniffa…Christen took me up on it and I am picking her p a bottle of Lann-ael…perfumequeen hasn’t put in her order , and I am meeting up with Hice before I go…she has been there and knows what she wants.
    and on top of that , my nephew is in Bucharest right now , so nothing is impoossible…c’mon…tell me what you want…CHALLENGE ME !!!

    • Musette says:

      Carol –

      Don’t be surprised if your inbox BLOWS UP! with requests:o

      That Italy trip sounds so wonderful….are you going to come to Chicago after that? It’s probably going to be a bit tamer, scentwise…but lots of fun with chocolate and friends!

    • March says:

      There MUST be something I need from Bucharest… 😕

  • moi says:

    I love this story – the persistence of commerce, of art, of desire, despite a world gone mad with crap postal service!

  • Elle says:

    I’m with Dane – am rereading for third time, diligently trying to find the part which indicates abnormal behavior. It all seems totally sane to me. 🙂

    • March says:

      Dane and L — you two crack me up! You KNOW if we were reading this on some random website about, I don’t know, people trying to bring back some special imported fig paste or something, we’d be rolling our eyes. 8-|

  • Dane says:

    This all sounds perfectly normal to me?? 😕

  • Marilynn says:

    I love a good story. This was brilliant! Actually, everything you did to acquire the perfume made perfect sense to me. Thank you for a Monday morning smile. 🙂

  • Wendy says:

    Wow, and I thought my troubles trying to ship some samples to Hong Kong from DC were bad. That particular escapade ended up with me buying samples for the swapper from LuckyScent because that way I could guarantee that she would get them. DC Postmonsters seem to like to confiscate my packages. We have some gooood smelling postal workers here.

  • Patty says:

    Haha! I love this story and my teeny part in it. I do have it, it made it home safely with mom. Now I just need to pack it up, along with that Guerlainade I owe you and ship it to you this week!

    • March says:

      Hey, I’m leaving for Maine — take your time! Seriously, how much more fun can actually getting the fragrances be?!? 😉

  • Silvia says:

    A perfume collection is the way to beat inflation.

  • Silvia says:

    On behalf of a friend, and much to my husband delight, I agreed to met a stranger at a petrol station near Heathrow airport to collect a green electric guitar that an Italian friend had bought on UK ebay. Don’t ask. The guitar sat in our living room for months and we got quite attached to it, even named it Froggy and were very sad when we eventually had to take it to Italy.

    The most humiliating perfume thing I did was to stand at the head of the checking queue at Rome airport, trying to persuade fellow passengers to put my bottle of Montale Queen Rose into their checked luggage (it was at the time when you couldn’t have any liquids at all in hand luggage). Of all perfume line whose container looks like it might contain some explosive, Montale is the best. I begged and begged, while people turned away the way they do when approached by the mentally insane; finally I found a kind soul, a nice man who said I didn’t look like a terrorist and was bullied into putting the perfume into his suitcase.

    I totally understand you.

    😡

  • Anne says:

    ^:)^^:)^^:)^^:)^^:)^
    I am in awe. I have nothing to compare to this story. My family is still in the eye rolling stage when packages arrive in the mail. I’d have to ease them into international travel with a few interstate trips first. They still shake their collective heads when I make a trip to the mall just to sample something new.

    • Anne says:

      Louise. Investment. Now 11 might be considered excessive, but 10? You did your research. :)>-

      • Louise says:

        I am in complete agreement :”>

        And my friends can tell you how generally frugal I am 8-|

  • sariah says:

    So hillarious.

  • marina says:

    Oh March, I love you 😡

  • Louise says:

    March, I see no pathology here, just admirable persistence 😕

    As in, the pot calling the kettle black…it’s often about the hunt, this I know for sure. I am hoping the Amman bottle and juice live up to the effort, but even if not, how much fun has this romp been? For all involved ; ) I do beleive, though, that you should have hopped the plane to fetch the bottle

    My perfumis extemis adventures have usually only involved excessive amounts of money for unsniffeds, or ebay adventures, most of which have turned out well. There are also the immediately must-find impulses for vintage items, and the multiple back-ups for discontinueds. On that note, do you think 10 bottles of Black Cashmere is excessive, or merely an investment /:)?:x

  • Bradamante says:

    Can you give the url of the swapsite? Or is this information too x-rated to be published in the public domain? (All those innocent virgin souls on the verge of defamation…)

  • MattS says:

    Wow…so sketchy, are you sure you guys have never been dealers? It sounds like an episode of that Mary Louise Parker show where she’s a suburban mom who sells weed. :d

    My bottle attempts haven’t been nearly as interesting, but they’ve all involved bell jars. And shipping. I’m also currently pissed at a woman I barely know, an acquaintance really, a friend of my bf’s, who left for Paris without responding to my email asking for a teeny little favor. That’s just rude…I woulda made it worth her while.

  • carmencanada says:

    Hi March! Glad to know the bottle has safely crossed the Atlantic. Whew! What with emails to you, Patty and Maude, the young woman who had the bottle, there was as much correspondence as for, I dunno, swapping a slightly used husband against a white camel and a couple of goats.
    If anyone is wondering, the reasons why neither Maude nor I wanted to mail the bloody parcel are that, for her, well it’s a swap site, so spending lots of euros to send a parcel overseas would set her back quite a bit. For me, it’s that
    1) I truly detest standing in line and the post offices are usually crowded, but especially,
    2) On the French end, you have to fill in a lot of paperwork, because they say that if the parcel isn’t registered and insured, it has a good chance of being mishandled, destroyed or plain disappeared in the USA: apparently it hasn’t signed some kind of treaty with other countries, and the USP employees feel they have a right to do whatever they want with foreign parcels, especially when they go “glug-glug”.
    This is why I don’t mail any perfume anymore to the US, and why I had the pleasure of rendez-vous-ing with Patty and her two adorable sons at the café just outside the Palais-Royal, a meeting we broke up when Patty and I started chattering about Louboutin shoes, and her sons looked like they were about to faint from boredom.
    Anyway, I hope Annam makes it to you soon. I was heroic: I didn’t even smell it for fear of succumbing to it and embarking on my own quest for a bottle!

    • Just chiming to do a high-five with D for her efficiency (aren’t you sweet!) and to confirm that it’s not the French who are difficult with the post office: same happens here; it’s the US side of things which is very difficult to monitor ~whether they will hold the bottle for dear life and never send it to its intended recipients, that is.
      So sending anything to the US is a gamble and when someone has actually paid and longed for it it becomes a bit of a responsibility and a load of worry!

      I have had some questions about puchasing bell-jars from Lutens for vry kind US people (which I have done in the past for), but I am now a little hesitant to repeat: what if the bottles they paid for get held at customs? They could, you know!

      As to most convoluted story: sending scouts around Europe in order to locate some Nombre Noir for me is the extremis I went to. One finally did at a used-items market in Prague. I guess I was lucky!

      • March says:

        I have NO DOUBT it’s the US side of things that is the problem. And having had one or two bottles disappear from the mail over here, I am pretty sure theft is an issue, whether or not it’s disguised as national security.

  • juliaforsberg says:

    I went to NY a month before Bond no 9 Silver Factory was released. I was determined to get my hands on a sample anyway. A sweet SA at the Bond counter at SAKS promised me her own personal sample if I sent her some swedish kitchen magnets in return. I got back to SAKS the next day and I got the sample. Once I came back to Sweden I sent her the kitchen magnets. My DH thought we both were a bit crazy;))

  • Actually, this is a great read and I don’t want to add my lame story because this is much better. It has more people who aren’t perfume crazy involved, which is more fun because you care so much and the others don’t at all. It reminds me a bit of that children’s riddle where a farmer owns a goose, a fox, and a bag of grain that he has to get from one side of the river to the other. The boat only holds the farmer and one other item. He can’t leave the goose with the grain, or the goose will eat the grain. Same for leaving the fox with the goose. So how does he get all three over to the other side?

    This works the same way, but it’s more fun and has a better answer.

  • sylvia says:

    i dont know about you, but i think a central train station in budapest would be a cinch. why not a stand in the spice bazaar in istanbul? or a gypsy salesman in romania? just kidding. i have no outrageous swapping anecdotes, but of course theres always hope. again, kidding.

  • vida says:

    How wonderfully convoluted! You should see the contortions I’m undergoing in my schedule at work to have an extra day off in Chicago for the ChiCocoa Fest! Well, not nearly as intricate as your bottle story, and DEFINITELY not as interesting!

    • March says:

      Hey, Vida and everybody — wow, back from a quick trip to the shore takin’ care of business, and here’s 46 comments! I’ll be picking through and responding where needed…