Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fabrics, Buttons and Rain

Friday morning we wake up to the pitter patter of rain and the sound of vehicles and buses rushing past on the street below.

Looking up at the ceiling I notice a drip. At 50USD a night we’re not complaining though.

Helen knocks at the door at 9:00 a.m. and we make our way into the drizzle. Outside we are met by the myriad colors of hundreds of umbrellas.

After crossing the footbridge we head over to the China Fabric’s and Accessories Center.

Inside the 7 story center we find every type of fabric imaginable.

Today our focus is finding fabric and buttons for purses.

As Shelley and Helen head over to the China Agricultural Bank for a withdrawal to pay for our purchases, I head up to McDonalds for a breakfast sandwich. It’s surprisingly easy to communicate and order simply by pointing and nodding yes or no.

As I eat, a man, who’s obviously not Chinese, turns to look at me. “Where are you from?” He asks in broken English. “Haiti,” I tell him. He looks confused for a moment and then shakes his head. He’s never heard of Haiti.

I shrug and resume eating.

“I’m from Russia,” he tells me. “Do you speak Chinese?” I shake my head. “I don’t really speak English or Chinese,” he says and then rattles off in Russian. I can’t understand a word he’s saying so I shrug my shoulders. I’m really crossing cultures now being a Dutch Canadian living in Haiti and talking to a Russian in China! A minute later he bids me “Goodbye” and walks off. I quickly finish my breakfast and then head back to the bank with Shelley’s coffee.

With money in hand we chose and order a dozen different types of fabrics from three different shops. We then find a wooden button shop.

It’s a lot of fun to see all the cool buttons and imagine what the purses will look like when they’re finished.

After purchasing the buttons we head upstairs to a Chinese restaurant for lunch.

The food is delicious!

After lunch we head back outside. Waiting in the center sqaure are dozens of bike taxi's and fabric carriers for hire.

We take a car taxi to a logistics company and have a meeting with three representatives of the firm. Sitting in their fancy conference room I take notes about shipping options.

By 5:00 p.m. we have shipping logistics figured out but need to head back to the bead markets to order lobster and toggle clasps, crimpers and spacer beads.

At 8:00, walking from the taxi drop off location to our hotel, rain continues to fall. Feeling the wet drops on my face brings back memories of walking in the rain with my two Jays. I miss them.


  1. wow! You're in China how amazing! Are you still there? Hope you're having a blast!!

    love Nat

  2. What are you guys doing in china is it for mission work.
    Ps Remeber you in prayers