The following happened during the time I sold handmade jewelry as a street vendor in Geneva, Switzerland. I think I was around 21 or 22 at the time. One evening I went out around closing time to the area where the high class stores selling Rolex and Omega watches were lined up. From my bag I pulled out a large, table-top sized velvet cloth and laid it down by the street. I then arranged the necklaces and other jewelry I had designed on the cloth and sat down to wait for potential customers.
After a being patient for a little while, a young girl around kindergarten age and a woman who appeared to be her mother and another women who appeared to be her grandmother came by where I was set up. The little girl didn’t appear to be Japanese, but was very cute. The lovely woman whom I thought to be her mother also didn’t appear to be Japanese. However, I could quickly tell that the kind-looking grandmother was from Japan. It was clear there was something different about these three, and as I wondered who they might be, the mother started speaking to the young child in Japanese. “Which one do you like?” “How about this one?” she asked. Then they bought two or three necklaces. After the mother asked me where I was from and a few simple questions about Japan she wished me “Good luck,” in Japanese and they continued down the street.
Right after that a Japanese woman just a little older than me ran over to where I was sitting. “Don’t you know who that was?!” she asked. “That was Dewi Fujin! She’s famous!” She then ran off, possibly to chase down the popular TV personality and socialite. If I ever have another chance to meet Dewi Fujin, I would like to ask her if she remembers buying jewelry from a Japanese hippie in Geneva so many years before.