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Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Chair, a Ghost, and Oscar Wilde

It's been a quiet, work-filled week after our orgy of travel. We bought a chair at the kringwinkel. It fits perfectly with our interior design style, Early Flemish Doctoral Student. It even reclines.We didn't realize until we got it into the apartment, though, that it had an...odor. A mustiness, as if it had been sitting in a basement for several years.

First we put it out on the balcony for a while. Then I Febrezed it (yes, Febreze is an international phenomenon).  I used the whole bottle. I scrubbed the upholstery with cleanser. I went online and researched Musty Furniture, and I sprayed it with vinegar and water and doused it with baking soda, over and over.

Phil says it's much improved. I say it now smells like a pickle that has been sitting in a basement for several years.

the apartment in question
Nightly, while sitting in our pickle chair, we notice the goings-on of our upstairs neighbor. It's a woman, to judge by the sound of her high heels as she trip-traps around her apartment like a Billy Goat Gruff. And she has an active social life, to judge by the music and party noises wafting through the ceiling. We also deduce a boyfriend, but we leave those details to your imagination. The other evening, our curiosity and courage fueled by a couple of beers, we decided to sneak upstairs, walk casually past her apartment, and see if we could peek in.

Imagine our shock to discover the apartment completely empty. Devoid of people, decoration, books, even furniture. There is no one living upstairs at all. Is it a ghost having weekly parties, heated arguments, wild sex? Is it Flemish Borrowers?

To escape the pickle chair and ghost neighbor, we took our friend Jo to see "The Picture of Dorian Gray," a play directed by a student of Phil's at the local Tinnenpot Theater.
The director set the action in the fashion world, a perfect update.  It was in English, with dancing, a fair amount of S&M, and much world-weary Wildeness. We enjoyed it immensely.

And when we got back, we sat and listened to the party going on upstairs...

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