Black hearts and the history of my straw hat

2 May 2014

Every time I wear this hat, people tell me that they love it. Today’s outfit post was inspired by my last trip to Paris with my sister. This was when the hat returned home, and it has a long story behind it.

In 2011 I decided that I desperately wanted to go overseas. I was originally meant to be travelling with a friend, but she pulled out and I began planning the trip alone. Closer to the date I managed to organise some travel buddies for the later parts of the trip, but for the first part, I was to be travelling by myself. It was my first time overseas and I was nervous.

When I arrived in France, the airline had lost my luggage. I was left with no more than a little backpack with essentials in it (passports, iPad, travel guide, phone). The airline gave me a 100 euro budget to buy some items to get me by. They packed me onto my connecting flight to Nice from Paris with the promise that my luggage would follow. I was only spending one night in Nice then going back to Paris (I’d already booked the flights when my itinerary plans changed), so I was worried the luggage wouldn’t make it. When I did arrive in Nice, I wandered the streets, exhausted, looking for somewhere to buy some spare clothes.

My sister passed away in 2006. When she was a teenager, she went to Italy and came home with this beautiful perfume from a store called Pimkies. I spotted on of these stores on that stressful day in Nice, and with the sole desire of something feeling a little bit like home, I went in there to buy some clothes. I got a spare shirt, some socks and underwear, and this straw hat to hide my hair. If I have bad hair, I find it really soul destroying to be out in public. The hat was meant to counter that.

The next day, my luggage did not arrive, and I trekked back to Paris. I got set up in my cheap hotel and ate delicious strawberries and slept. The next morning, I checked with my new hotel to see if my luggage had arrived yet. It hadn't, and the guy that was working wanted me to check with the airline. This involved him ushering me into the room (read, converted broom cupboard) where they had the internet connected, and attempting to put his hands down my shirt. I kept pushing him off until he asked what he could get me to make me happy (read, let him put his hands down my shirt). I asked for a coffee and when he left the room, I fled back to my room. I packed in an awful hurry because I knew he had a key to my room and I was terrified he would let himself in. Thankfully, they hadn’t held my passport so I was able to take my little backpack and sprint from the hotel, dumping my keys on the counter.

I made it around the corner to a McDonalds, where they have free wifi, and I waited until they opened so I could sit in and plan for my next stage of the journey (I was then heading to Spain to meet family). I sat in the McDonalds with my iPad looking up directions, until a group of 6 or so children came in begging for money. They swarmed me, and while protecting my backpack and iPad form being snatched, they took my little bag containing my phone, credit card, passport, money, student ID, and receipt for the clothes and hat I had purchased to tide me over (irony).

I managed to get to a nearby police station and report it, then looked up the walking directions on Google for the Australian consulate in Paris, which was on the other side of the city. I walked all the way across Paris in my bought tshirt and hat, and when I arrived at the consulate (just beside the Eiffel Tower) I saw the pictures of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard and burst into tears. The team were able to get me a new passport within 2 hours so that I could make it to Spain in time for Easter to be with my family.

Jeans: Jeanswest black skinny jeans (no link for similar, you can get these at heaps of places)
Blouse: Love Letterpress top (soldout) Modcloth 
Hat: Pimkie (similar)
Shoes: black wedge (sold out) from Sandler (similar)
Photographer: Tegan Barnes

My sister and I went back to France and I took this hat with me, partly because of the sentiment of all I had been through with the hat, and partly because I wanted better memories of France with it (no photos of me crying there). So this photo set above is me recapturing how I wore the outfit in France (see below).

Notre Dame


- L

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