Friday, April 17, 2009

Hawaiian in the Filipino Market

Next to the central market in the heart of Kota Kinabalu city is the so-called Filipino market.

I said : "so-called" because I was in the filipino market of Pasay city where I bought straw hat for RM1 and rattan basket for RM20 - hand made and of excellent quality. I should mention a pair of hand made leather sandals in Pampanga cost about RM40. The variety of choices and the filipino charming creativity enthrall even me -a nerd averse to shopping.

The so-called Filipino market here, well, started out as a Filipino market. They don't have the things I mentioned above but at least they used to sell barongs and the pineapple fibre blouses which I love very much. These Filipino blouses have a timeless feminine appeal to me.

Then the market was renovated and the proportion of Moslem vendors increase, and gradually metamorphosized into...

"A market of China glasses", according to Alice.

Coming to think of it, ALL the stalls sell mainly crystal beads threaded into bracelets, necklaces, rings and trinkets reminisce of what they have in Chinese amulet stalls. The vendors tell us that the cheap crystal beads come from China and better ones, from Austria.

I can never understand this crystal beads fad craze. *Yawn*

Alice gazed at a string of seashells, the type many Filipino homes hang in cascades as door partitions. She asked for the price and the reply was RM15. She turned to me and said:

"They have this in Hawaii and they give away a string for FREE."

I grumbled to myself: This woman is so spoiled by garage sale back at home. Will she ever buy anything here? Why don't we just pick up a few of these ugly sompoton key chains and get the heck out here?

She bought a leather hat. The kind that flamenco musicians wear she said but to me, they are cowboy hats. RM20. She needed one to protect her skin cancer.

" This is the most expensive hat. Usually I pay only a dollar."

She wouldn't nag if we were in Pasay.

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