Saturday, March 17, 2012

Me and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Well. Not a whole lot has been going on around here. Got caught up in the winter doldrums, and have been axing deserving individuals from my life (Socrates has not been mentioned on here in a very long time, but it wasn't until January that I finally cut him out of my life, thanks to the fact that he came back to Shanghers this fall and I - like an idiot - felt sorry for him). I've also been busily job hunting - this recruiting season, I sent out 29 applications, but it wasn't until three weeks ago that I set up my first interview. I was excited for that one, since it would have sent me to Marrakesh and a K-12 art position, if I had succeeded. After the interview, I felt like it was okay, but decided that rather than sit around and hope they called, I started filling out other applications. One of them was for the American School of Ulaanbaatar, for a secondary art job, just in time for their deadline. Later that night, I got a reply, asking for an interview, and after talking to their personnel consultant, and their principal, I was offered the job. It's not Marrakesh (who I never heard back from), but I have a feeling God was guiding me in this, since there are several congregations of my church in Ulaanbaatar itself, whereas there's just the one in all of Morocco, and that in faraway Rabat. And I think I'm going to like working for the principal a lot, and I work a lot harder for people I like (sad but true), and there is a decent-sized Korean population in UB, and while the salary is a little less, the taxes are as well, and I won't have to pay for rent or utilities (other than phone), and all in all, I think it's going to be a good place for me.
That said, Mongolia is really, REALLY bloody far north. Right now it's 19F up there, although tomorrow the high's supposed to be 28 (almost above freezing - How about that!) So I celebrated being offered my contract with a trip to the fabric market. Ostensibly, this was to buy layers, but far be it from me to leave China (thank goodness!) without doing my part for it's (endless) economic growth spurt. So in addition to the two pairs of long underwear I had copied in silk jersey (silk wicks sweat away from your skin) and the two plain shirts I had copied to put under other shirts, I ordered a dress, and a copy of a wrap skirt I own (except out of wool knit instead of the light breezy cotton it was originally made of)...and while I was looking for colors of the wool knit that DIDN'T look like the 60's threw up all over it, I found the most awesome shiny gold and blue leopard print, and decided I needed a dress made out of that, too. I told myself no more leopard print after the pencil skirt I bought back home last summer...but one more can't hurt, right?? Especially one like this - I figure I can go out dancing in this over the summer when I visit the Evil One in Lima...
Anyways, after the Shanghai Literary Festival - where Shermeen and I listened to Steffi Schmidt tell us the preface of her book...err, talk about her book, Shanghai Promenade (mostly stories about German spies who used to live here - we weren't unduly impressed, although Meen went ahead and bought the book and has promised to share any gems that tumble forth from the very dense book) - and lunch at Charme on East Nanjing Rd, I headed down to the fabric market to pick up my new clothes. The shirts and underwear were fine, the leopard-print was stunning in a nice, loud way, once they lowered the neckline a little, and the skirt - well, they need to reverse it so the purple layer is on top and the black on bottom, but it fit fine and I think it will be nice and warm, I may even have to have another made. And the other dress? It was beyond amazing. It was the best thing I've bought at the fabric market. It fit perfectly and was really flattering. This is it...
I decided to start calling the girl in the shop the Little Chinese Seamstress. I met her last spring when JoAnn was next door ordering shirts...it took a long time and as I was wandering around the third floor, I ended up in her shop because I saw a dress that I thought was really cute. The Little Chinese Seamstress was very convincing - she had good English and she wheedled me into ordering the dress I stopped to admire, even though I was kind of over buying things that day. It's a good thing she did, because everything she's made has turned out well. This is the fourth dress she's made me, and by far the best. It goes a little past my knees, has a flat panel down the middle of the front with ruching down both sides. My only wish is that she had more patterns to choose from - it's a really small shop - and that fewer people had discovered her, because she's usually pretty busy. I promised her today that I'd be back every month til I left, and I fully intend to. Leaving behind the fabric market is going to be one of the hardest things about leaving Shanghai. Here's the original dress she made me...
Speaking of leaving Shanghai, I've decided to live it up tourist style until I go. I've told myself that I will write a blog every week til then. While I bitch about the fact that there's not much soul to this city, there are lots of things I haven't done yet. So stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment