Another 7 hours walk to find the fabric market.
Today I walked again 7 hours and I did not find the fabric market. Why didn’t I take a taxi? First of all I am always scared for taxi’s or taxi-drivers. After 7 years of modeling and 24 years a model agent I still don’t like stopping a taxi on the street. First of all, when it rains, it seems that all taxi’s are full, so I get wet anyway. So I already start walking in the right direction. Second: during the ride I always get the idea I get screwed. Or they keep on taking short cuts and get stuck into traffic, which makes me extra nervous when I have to get somewhere in time. Third: I never know how much to tip them. For example: Johan always gives for a ride of 7 euros the amount of 10 euros, where I want to give them 8 euros.
Well today I really wanted to take a taxi. Also because the concierge at the reception of my hotel looked strange at me when I told him I was going to walk again.
“No-o-o-o- mistel Holleman … too fa-a-a-a-r. You take taxi-i-i-i” he said
“Shanghai is bi-i-i-i-ig”
But after I got refused by two taxi drivers I started to walk my way to the fabric market. I guessed the walk wasn’t as far as the concierge had warned me.
Near the hotel I stopped for breakfast. It was at the “Foreign languages bookstore” where they had a coffee place “Felicity gathering” with cheese cake on the menu. A funny place with second hand books and antique furniture and for sure it was a “gathering” of Chinese kids who sat there probably for hours on 1 coffee, looking on their mobile or chatting with friends.
My second stop was again a bookstore the “Chinese Traditional Arts Gallery”, this one specialized in books about art and about how to make art. There was a very big collection of books how to draw portraits with a pencil.
I bought two books about “zentangle” the style I lately try to draw when I am waiting somewhere or when I am bored. On Google I tried to find the right word for it when I was in Spain and I found the word “doodle” (= krabbeltje zonder bij na te denken).
Here in China I can not get on Google because it is forbidden, so please correct me if I am wrong. Is an zentangle also a doodle?
From my sister Claudia: “The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being.”
After my two book-stops so close at the hotel I started walking faster and faster, because today I really wanted to find the “China Sunshine Elegant” South Bund fabric market on the Lujiabang Road number 399, because they were closing at 6 PM. On my map it was close to where Henan road and Lujiabang Road were crossing, so for a few hours I followed Henan Road. Again I could not stop when I saw these typical Chinese alleys. Poor live between the more wealthy people. Behind every beautiful skyscraper is a small alley with parked cargo bikes, a lot of dump or people selling food.
Around 5 PM I entered another market close to number 399. One of the first shops was a men suit tailor. I was looking at some fabrics when an old man asked me if I wanted to buy a suit. He offered me paper towels because my forehead was wet of sweat and rain. I explained him what I wanted: a suit with checkered fabric (= geruite stof) in funny colors. I brought with me the suit which I bought for the wedding of Mila and Jamie, so the tailor could copy this style. I chose a nice woolen fabric and the old man asked 1.490 CNY which is 257 euros. After some bidding back and forth we ended at 1.100 CNY which is 190 euros. I bought my suit on sale at the Bijenkorf for 600 euros, so I left the shop trying to find a cheaper price.
The 2nd tailor was a friendly girl Miko and her boss, a grumpy Chinese man. But Miko was gentle and her English was good. They right away understood what I meant with a funny, colorful checkered fabric and offered me a woolen suit for first price: 1.100 CNY.
“This is the price I already got offered three times” I lied “If it is ready in two days and I get an extra fitting tomorrow I pay you 1.000 CNY”
We ended up at 1.050 CNY which is 181 euros.
On the forum of KLM-staff (thank you Corneel) the stewardesses mentioned that they can make a “lady suit” (jacket and skirt) for 50 euros. But Miko gave me a good feeling and I was tired and sweaty and wanted to go back to my hotel.
The walk to the hotel was another two hours. I followed the road with the river on my right hand, which was a new road for me, but at least I could not get lost. For half an hour I was walking on a dark and slippery road where with no people except construction workers and again food vendors on the street. Suddenly the area changed to nice apartment buildings, galleries and beautiful stores. And I was back at the statue of Mao Zedong and the beautiful skyline of The Bund, this time by night with a bit of fog at the top.
Around 7:30 PM I ate diner at a shopping mall close to the hotel. No small bite at street vendors for me this time, I wanted a nice couch and lots of food followed by a warm bath in my hotel room.