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【My Favourite Shop】        *要点説明あり

(Contributed by Ben)
Let me tell you about my favourite shop.
A few months ago I was in a terrible mood. I needed some fresh air, so I left the house, and went out walking. It was a gloomy day, and I walked and walked. I walked almost the whole way to the city centre! I had never walked from my house to the city before, because it’s a very long way. I walk very quickly, and it took me most of an hour.
I didn’t take the normal bus route. I wasn’t really paying attention to where I was going. I took little side-roads, and strode whichever way seemed right. Suddenly, a great storm began. I quickly jumped into the nearest doorway to keep myself out of the rain (because I had left the house without a coat), and found myself in a curious shop. If it hadn’t been for the rain, and my mood, and my unusual route, I would never have discovered this place.
How should I describe the shop? It sold a strange mix of ‘retro’ (which means fashions from 30 years ago), antiques (things from 100 years ago) and vintage (which really means anything between retro and antique). Some of it was ‘crafts’, things which had been newly hand-made by artisans. About half of it was clothing of some kind or another. There were also music on vinyl records, plus furniture, broken instruments, unusual objects and frightening taxidermy (which means dead, stuffed animals). The taxidermy in this shop was very dead indeed, with strange shapes and bulging eyes. I found it all fascinating!
It was like a shop and a museum at the same time. It was a very big shop, on two floors. Individual stalls and displays belonged to different vendors, but there was only one employee present – the shop-keeper at the front desk. I know a similar shop in Lincolnshire, but that shop is tidier and classier. This place, in my own town, was a wonderul mess. Everything was everywhere.
Of course, 95% of it was trash, and 5% of it was treasure (and anyone who visited would have a different opinion about which items were really ‘treasure’). This sort of shop is sometimes called a ‘junk shop’.
It made me forget my troubles, and it lifted me out of my bad mood. I spent so long looking around that I felt I ought to buy something. But what? I was ‘spoilt for choice’! There were so many options that it was hard to choose anything.
I spent another half-hour making my mind up. In the end, I bought a very colourful poncho (a mexican garment, like a blanket you can wear) which I thought really suited me. And it was still raining, so I bought an old coat that made me look like a burglar.
Ben in Poncho
Now that I know it exists, I walk out to it whenever I need some exercise. Every time it’s the same. I’m dazzled by the choice. I always end up buying strange things that I never knew I wanted.
The second time I visited, I looked through all the music, and I tried on five or ten interesting pieces of clothing, but I ended up buying a 19th Century French policeman’s hat. Did I need it? Not at all, but I was confused by all the choice! At least if fit me!
This morning, I visited for a third time. I made up my mind to buy something sensible. Something I could actually wear, or use, in my day to day life. Well, that plan soon went out the window! I was dazzled by the choice again! Bewildered by the amount of wonderful, terrible things on the shelves! Somehow, I ended up buying a mink stole. (A stole is a furry scarf: the sort of thing wealthy people wore in the 1920’s, while gambling and smoking. A mink is an animal, like a cross between a snake and a hamster). I don’t know if this stole was made of a real mink – it has two heads!
It certainly made the shopkeeper raise his eyebrows. He described it as ‘a real statement piece’. A ‘statement piece’ is a very astonishing piece of clothing or jewelry – a garment that everybody will notice and talk about. Wearing a mink stole would be a very strong statement!
I don’t really know what I was thinking! It’s a lovely garment (and it’s a bit horrible) and I certainly couldn’t wear it on the street.
I love this shop, but I think it’s a bit dangerous for me to visit. I always go there and get excited and buy the strangest things. I don’t know what I’ll come out with next! I’ll try to wait another month before I return.
・店主は驚いた様子で、これはStatement pieceだ!と言いました。【自分らしさを主張する装飾品などのファッション・アイテム】確かにこのストールを着て歩けば、それは強力なステートメントになるでしょう。

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