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When No Means No

I’m at a flea market in Kyoto. I’ve been told by textile experts it is literally the best place in the world to buy used kimonos. I’ve fought the tides of people past boxes of tiny dried fish, aisles of sake cups and a million pairs of wooden soled sandals. Twice I’ve pulled out the same beautiful green kimono. And twice I’ve walked away.

The girls at Archeo tease me for my motto of “cast a wide net”. But that only applies when for example, you’re buying your very favorite pajamas in India. You don’t buy ONE new pair, you buy TEN! Because God knows you’re going to end up giving eight away anyway.

But this is different. There’s a little voice in my head saying no to the green kimono.

One of the hardest parts of being a buyer isn’t finding interesting things, it’s finding the exceptional among the interesting. At a flea market in Kyoto, there are plenty of things that catch my attention. But after years of searching for the best and the finest I trust my intuition.

I leave the green kimono behind. Sometimes it feels right to cast a wide net but today, no means no.