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San Francisco – Bon Chic, Bon Genre.

We were to travel to the US for a wedding in my husband’s family. The daughter of his dearest aunt was getting married in New Jersey. It was supposed to be a short week-long trip that got further shortened to barely 2-3 days since husband had to be around in Bombay for urgent meetings. I was so disappointed and we were about to change our tickets when a brainwave hit me. So he had urgent meetings. Not me! ☺

As brainwaves go, when you’re having a good day, it only gets better. The next brainwave suggested that I extend my trip by another week and make a proper holiday of it! Husband agreed whole heartedly and suggested I ring a friend in the US and propose a girly trip. I called an old friend in New Mexico and she totally jumped at the idea. And so we planned this holiday to San Francisco and Napa valley a week before the wedding week.

I had not seen Ani in 12 years. We were lab mates during our post-grad in Microbiology. (Yes it’s a long way off from shoes) I was excited and anxious because we hadn’t met in so long. But I needn’t have worried.

We met and bonded like a house on fire, like only old friends can. We picked up where we had left off, like only old friends can. We laughed at our silly old jokes and made some sillier new ones, like only old friends can. She ribbed me about my habits and I, hers. We shared our life’s stories from the 12 years that had flown by since we last met. We laughed and we cried. And of course as is the case with most amazing holidays, we ate the most delicious food in SF. The biggest hit was the pancakes and waffles breakfast at a quaint café near the hotel followed by jumping sushi at the famous Ryoko bar. We walked till our legs hurt and got lost atleast a hundred times. Once at a six way intersection for a good hour because the GPS wouldn’t work! We gossiped and drank too much wine, starting at breakfast on most days. I felt like we were better friends now because we had so much shared history between us and we could appreciate a great friendship much more now than when we were younger.

And we spent considerable time doing what women do best. We shopped. Ani is not much of a shopper because, in her words- “I’m a scientist, we have bigger fish to fry”. But with me she let loose and indulged like she rarely does. I was practicing great restraint for the most part since I wanted to shop in New York where I was headed the following week.

One afternoon while we were out browsing the streets of SF, I spotted this beautiful pair of shoes at a store in Union Square. It was a design similar to the famous Valentino that was and still is in trend. But they were not Valentino. They are BCBG Max Azria- the women’s clothing brand.

The brand BCBG Max Azria is named after the French phrase “bon chic, bon genre,” a Parisian slang meaning “good style, good attitude”. And Max Azria, the Tunisian fashion designer who launched it.

I bought the shoes, they were good quality and I loved the color. I have since worn them to a night on the town and a fancy Sunday brunch. They have the ability to elevate a simple outfit and become the star of the look. And they did not cost me an arm and leg either.

One day these shoes will wear out and I know I will struggle to throw them away. They remind me too much of an amazing holiday where I rediscovered an old friendship. Too special, this pair.

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