Monday, September 26, 2011

the south bund: my new closet

I went to the cloth market last week in the South Bund, where all the tailors are located, and IT WAS AMAZING. Originally, the errand was to pick up a shirt my mom wanted copied, but it turned into a shopping excursion – not the normal kind, but the kind where you wander a boundless pit where all your fashion dreams come true. The possibilities are endless! You can get traditional silk chi paos made, business suits, formal dresses, winter coats, fur coats, leather jackets, you name it. I got fitted for a wool/cashmere blend cape for the winter, and it was so fun trying on all the different styles, getting measured, and picking out the color and cloth for it – all for about $60 USD! It’s dangerously addictive, and I already know quite a portion of my paycheck will – happily- go to the tailor’s. It’s so much fun, and the price to get it done in the states would be exorbitant. The dangerous thing about this process is that I have to go back this week to pick up my coat, which inevitably means that I will once more need to ponder if I really need a replica Chanel suit for my life to be complete (the answer is YES! - which will then lead me to return the following week to pick it up, and then the cycle will start again). Which makes me very excited.

A sign that I’m slowly assimilating to Chinese culture is the fact that I don’t mind bargaining anymore. Enjoyment is an overstatement, but I have to say that it adds an element of thrill to shopping, and then there is nothing like the elation when you score yourself a pair of black flats for about $10USD. 450* yuan for a leather belt? No way, I’m not paying anything over 150! I have a feeling that the shock of American prices when I go home force me into becoming a miser – but no worries, you’ll be able to find me luxuriating in my closet, eating Poptarts and barbecue (the latest in my list of things I miss. Goodness, I don’t even eat Poptarts at home!).

*note: the exchange rate is about about 6.5 yuan to $1USD, and Wilson is now the proud new owner of a sleek black belt, which I scored for 120 yuan! 


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