Shanghai seems to have a street or market for everything. At Science and Technology is the fake market where you can buy designer clothes, bags, watches that can fool even the best trained eye. There is also an electronics market that sells all brands of computers, phones and cameras plus more. I have even been to a glasses market that has 2 or more floors of vendors selling glasses… talk about overwhelming! It is worth going to though and for the price of 1 lens in Canada I got two pairs of glasses (frames AND lenses) all made in an hour! That was worth the trip across the city through a maze of streets and subway changes.
In September, a small group of us went to Art Street where copied or original art can be purchased. Some pieces are super cheap! The street was long and narrow and we arrived as most vendors were just setting up shop for the day. Funny how in most cities you avoid narrow alleys, but here we seek them out! Paintings were displayed outside of shops no larger than a guest bathroom and just as tight to move around. Piles of paintings 10-20 deep lined the walls in a variety of sizes and designs. Some were better than others, but looking to bring colour to your school apartment plain and boring white walls it was worth a look. However, John and I didn’t go to buy, but for the experience.
We quickly saw all we could see and were at the end of the small alley. A sign in Chinese pointed up a narrow outdoor staircase, so we decided to have a look. Above the street was more shops with not only paintings, but fabulous furniture hand carved and in many designs. Upholstery was also offered here.
Back downstairs more vendors had arrived and started to paint. It was interesting to watch as they carefully copied a small picture from a book onto canvas. The detail was incredible…. We watched each carefully laid stroke and colour to become a part of a work of art. Some vendors even copy photos! Amazing…
Just wandering the simple streets and watching the people made me realise why we are still here and love Shanghai. You never know what you are going to see… there is always something new to discover and the reward of finding it brings joy and builds many happy memories that we will forever cherish of our time when we once lived in China. Something I still have to remind myself…. a girl from a small 3 stop light town left the comforts of all things familiar and is living in the bright lights and big city of Shanghai! This is me… pinch me am I still dreaming?
Makes me think of meeting some of my old teachers and classmates at a reunion… they would be shocked to know the quiet shy girl they once knew is living abroad. What do you think someone would find unbelievable about you?
Stay tuned… Immie has awarded me Blog of 2012 and I will post on that shortly…