For those of you who personally know me, you can all vouch that I put immense amounts of time into my wardrobe and appearance on a day to day basis. The delicate selection of lacy tops paired with fitted pants is a fine art and one that I take quite seriously. And for those of you double checking that you are in fact reading Charlotte’s blog right now…you will also know that I am completely full of it right now. Let’s be real, I care much, much more about the cannoli I am about to devour in two bites than the color of my free t-shirt that I have decided to wear that specific day. And the pants? Which ones are clean? Yes, those will do just fine.
So it seemed like a natural thing then, to make my way over to the South Bund Fabric Market to go get a tailor made trench coat. Nothing says high fashion like a tailor made piece of clothing hanging so wonderfully over a hoodie and track pants. Am I right, ladies?
As I stood in the market, bargaining relentlessly over the 10 kuai difference in proposed prices between mine and the store vendor’s far-too-high price, I realized how obscene this was. Here I was, once again, telling a Shanghainese local that my parents didn’t love me, gave me no money, and I was incredibly, horrifically poor and needed to save 5 kuai as a result if I were to eat dinner tonight. This was all while I held my iPhone taking pictures of the garments and whipping out my wallet filled with freshly-taken-out-of-the-ATM hundos. Yikes. Fortunately, the woman found my attempts at speaking in Chinese quite amusing and gave me the price I wanted anyways.
After half an hour of talking with the woman as she measured my arm length (thank goodness for the past year of practicing warrior 2 poses for yoga otherwise that could have been embarrassingly painful to keep my arms raised for that long), I was back on my bike and on my way home with my wallet 350 RMB lighter.
I have to head back to the market in 10 days time to pick up the jacket. Here’s to hoping my 100% Chinese language conversation lady worked out and that I won’t be walking out of the shop with a man’s smoking jacket covered in purple sequins and Hello Kitty themed buttons.