Thursday, February 2, 2012

Expect the Unexpected

If I've learned one important lesson while living abroad, it's to expect the unexpected. This hasn't come easy since I usually like to know what, where, when, why and with whom I'm doing something. It's not that life here varies so much from home but with the language barrier and slight cultural differences, I'm not always sure what to expect. Why do dinners out take 3-5 hours? Who was running the country for 18 months when there was no official government? Why aren't milk and eggs refrigerated at the supermarket? When will my debit card start working (oh, after the 6th trip to the bank)? Etc, etc. Last weekend my husband and I were looking forward to an afternoon at Tour & Taxis, a jewel of industrial architecture that houses, among other things, a beautiful hammam (bathhouse). Although the massive complex is unlocked on Sundays, most businesses inside were closed (the hammam was open but, unexpectedly, no one was there to assist us). Going with the flow (my new motto), we unexpectedly found ourselves at BRAFA '12, a week-long antiques and fine arts fair. While in line to purchase our tickets, a nice man unexpectedly gave us his extra tickets (20€ each). We then unexpectedly enjoyed over 100 exhibitors of ancient, modern and fine art from around the world. But as we were walking through 14,000m² of priceless art and antiques, I couldn't help but wonder what makes each piece (below) cost more than our two cars put together? Why are they so expensive? Who's purchasing them? Where will they be displayed? Can I glue stuffed animals on a table (last pic) and make a fortune? Alas, these questions may simply go unanswered...

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