Friday, 6 August 2010
A funny thing about shopping Hong Kong: the shops can be very focused on just one thing. Yes, there are some department stores, and "home goods" stores, but a lot of shops sell only one thing, like this scale shop I saw earlier this week. The entire shop just sells scales, analogue and digital. I was so surprised, I had to snap a photo; a whole shop of just scales!?
And another thing I find a bit odd, where you find one shop selling one thing, you inevitably see a whole row of them. For example, here's a street (below) in the area called the flower market. The whole street (and the one parallel to it and each side street) is lined with flower shops. There are probably a hundred small flower retailers here, all in the same area. I wish I could go there to buy flowers every week, but the flower market is in Mong Kok, across the harbour from us. In my Western thinking I wonder, wouldn't it be better to have one or two flower shops in each part of Hong Kong? But at least you know where to get your flowers, it's in Mong Kog, of course! (Small amusing anecdote: there are two shops on those streets which do not sell flowers. One is a bakery [num, num] for sustenance when browsing all these flower joints. The other sells motorcycle helmets. I do not joke.)
I visited the Western Market recently ("Western" because it is on the west side of central Hong Kong). The first floor is all fabric shops, row after row of fabrics. I really liked visiting there earlier in my holiday and I bought a few half yards of fabric to use in my food photos (you can see them in this post about nut butters if you're curious!). But I have heard that the Western Market with its ten fabric stalls is not the main place to go for fabric. I don't know where it is yet (maybe my mother remembers?) but I do know that when I find it, there will be dozens of fabric sellers there.