By Peter Mayle
With an up-to-date foreword through Peter Mayle, Acquired Tastes (originally released in 1993 as Expensive Habits), is a party of life's extravagances. Exploring a side of human nature that, even though mendacity dormant in not easy monetary occasions, is in a position to erupting with the trace of excellent fortune and the drop of a bank card. It samples the luxuries of Havana cigars, Parisian lodges, bespoke London tailoring, hand-made sneakers, the right kind colour for a stretch limousine and weighs the price as opposed to the excitement of conserving a mistress. Explaining the correct strategy to consume actual caviar whereas supplying the listener with hours of natural, unadulterated escapism.
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Extra info for Acquired Tastes
He will greet you courteously, but his eyes will not be able to resist flickering downwards for a brief assessment of your shoes. Nothing will be said, but you will be conscious, perhaps for the first time in your life, that another man is actively interested in your feet. You sit down, and your shoes are taken off. They suddenly look forlorn and rather shabby. Don’t worry about it. The purveyor is not concerned with them anymore; it’s your feet that fascinate him. Having confirmed that there are two, of more or less the same size, he summons his acolyte, who may be a fresh-faced apprentice from the cobbler’s bench or a wizened retainer.
You are asked to stand on it, one foot per page, and the purveyor kneels before you. Slowly, almost lovingly, he makes a map of each foot by tracing the two outlines onto the pages of the book. From those nearly prehensile big toes, round the mysterious knurls that embellish the little toes, along the sides, and deep under the arches, not a single wrinkle or irregularity is left unrecorded. Once the maps are completed, the topographical survey can begin. Everything is measured: altitude of instep, curve of heel, contours and slopes of the metatarsal range.
The status-conscious man decided that the way to show the world who was boss was to be transported in as lavish a fashion as possible. It was a notion that caught on. Indian princelings developed the chauffeur-driven elephant, with a penthouse balanced precariously on top. In eighteenth-century Europe, competition among the crowned heads to see who could come up with the most impressive set of wheels reached fever pitch. Matched sets of pearl-grey horses, coaches with rococo panelling, flunkies, whip-wavers, outriders—it was enough to make the Detroit designs of the fifties look like models of restraint.