Every café has high ceilings inside and sidewalk seating. The trees are leafy, many of the streets are cobblestone, and the boutique shops are filled with leather purses and knit sweaters. Summer is fading and autumn is beginning, but you wouldn’t know it. The weather is gorgeous and the small streets are bustling with shoppers and strollers.
Every city’s Soho has sushi bars and boutiques. But this Soho is housed in a mix of modern buildings and beautiful, aging houses brought into the 21st century with bright colors and graffiti.
We catch glimpses of rooftop terraces and inner courtyards. We pass under a portico – hung with ivy and heavy wrought iron lanterns – to find Tealosophy and Paul.
What Paul sells is a lifestyle: black and white photographs of Buenos Aires, candles and soaps, bamboo furniture, and distressed kitchen wares that you’re really meant to look at, not use. I buy two silver mate straws. I don’t even drink mate.
At the guesthouse, I open my windows. I could step over the windowsill and be in the garden. We are the only ones staying here – lucky us – so I go outside (using the door, not the window) and I lay down a towel. I flow through forty-five minutes of yoga. It’s dusk: my silhouette reflects in the glass doors leading to the living room and my shadow is thrown across the courtyard. I stop only to brush away a few mosquitoes and to make dinner plans. Tonight, we’re eating Vietnamese.