April 17, 2014

To market, to market #1

Yesterday was a great day. Even though I am still screwed up over the time difference, I wanted to post the pictures I took .

First after breakfast, I took some pictures of our very quiet street in front of the hotel. I expected the noise of traffic and throngs of people, but that was not the case at all.


The little dining patio to the side of the hotel. 


When Agneta arrived, we walked to the university, passing at least 4 of what I thought a most American of convenience stores...711 stores in a ten minute walk! Apparently you can buy anything or do anything at a 711, including bus passes, concert tickets, raincoats, umbrellas, and in my case, bottled water!

At the university I met with the director of fashion design, and she showed me the classroom where I will be teaching on the weekend. Ah, there's a whiteboard! Also a projection screen where I can plug in my Ipad for the presentation. So we are all set! We also got invited to the fashion show put on by the graduating students Friday night. Perfect!

The we took a taxi to "one" of the fabric markets. There are many individual merchants in one building as you can see from the wall directory.


So this is what greeted us upon entry. But that was the last time I saw any open floor space!


I'm thinking WOW already! But what I didn't expect was the maze of stalls, you really can't tell where one merchant stops and the next one starts!


Really, it was like a maze! Some of the "doorways" to the stores, was less than 18" (50 cm) wide, so if you are wider than that, you have to squeeze through.


But EVERY type of fabric was in that building, from home decor, to bridal, formal wear, spandex and yes, quilting fabrics (some advertised as "imported" from Japan!) 

Upstairs, the families were sewing. Yes, whole families in on the business of making draperies, ball gowns and men's suits. Sometimes granny was cutting out or watching the babies, and the daughters were sewing or cutting out on the floor - some of the bigger stalls had cutting tables. Lots of animated chatter. Reminded me of the days when my mom and my sister worked in my shop in New Brunswick. We always had a great time, and certainly all the folks I saw today looked happy to me.

 The fingers in a "V" formation is a typical Taiwanese greeting and popular for photos. The thread behind this lady was all arranged in a decent colour order. Maybe a little CDO there? Lol...for any of you who don't know CDO...it's OCD but arranged in a correct alphabetical order!


All the machines I saw were newish or at least maintained well. Mostly Brother and Juki straight stitch and sergers which is understandable for the long straight seams needed for draperies.

Even with all this fabric, I only saw one piece that got me excited! A pink sheer mesh with polka dots...very retro and very me. I can see this over cut and sew foam cups!


We went out onto the street to get some food...the best part of any trip, I think! We got sweet onion cake, which is more like roti with green onions in it. The fellow cooked it right in front of us. It was the size of an extra large pizza but very thin and sliced up into 8. I thought I could never eat my 4 pieces, but I proved myself wrong once again!

On to the lace market! A different building, down a different alley on a different street. Again, all lace merchants seem to be concentrated in one area, which makes it really easy to shop. One wonders how they all can make a living! Obviously Taiwan's economy is faring much better than Canada's!


I think this shop was VERY happy to see me. I won't be taking any money home with me, that's for sure. I was able to buy lots of embroidered tulle. Multi coloured of course! I will get them sorted and arranged for photos in another post.

I was exhausted after this. I even had to turn down Agneta's offer of taking me to the famous night markets tonight. Not sure if it was the time difference, the after shock of spending so much money or the effect of the mango ice and all that sugar, but I was quite ready for bed when I got back to the hotel. 

However, I am ready for another day! Friday's plan is for the big market (where I hope they take Visa) and the fashion show at the university in the evening!

2 comments:

  1. I've been enjoying reading your posts on your trip... I am DYING of jealousy of this fabric market visit!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What fun!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Asian markets are absolutely overwhelming! Can't blame you at all for not lasting long.
    Mary in Thailand
    By the way, do you ever do classes in Winnipeg?

    ReplyDelete