Now each place I visit in the World I always like to bring back a little souvenir dating back or having significance to my beloved Art Deco era. When seeking out my little treasure I like to scour the markets or off beat shops. During my time in Little India, Singapore I encountered only two shops which had some items which had real age to them. I did fall in love with a beautiful sculptured head of an Indian bride. I ummed and ahhed about it and then my mind told me not to go with my heart and that the cost to ship it home would be a burden (I am known to buy the biggest or heaviest items which usually cost more to post back to the UK than the item itself!).
However, she was mesmerising and I could just see her in my home calmly resonating her peaceful persona. The shop owners could not tell me her history only that most of the items come directly from India. I told the owners that I would consider the deal and after much pondering I decided to leave her sitting in the shop enchanting the other visitors.
My quest continued to no avail, until I was wondering around the fabulous indoor market in the national heritage district of Tiong Bahru. This is no ordinary market as it has two sides. The upstairs is devoted to all the little local food outlets and the downstairs has it sections of commodities laid out in order. Firstly are the vibrant flowers, the vegetables and fruit, where I come across the durian fruit which is a marmite moment. People are divided its either a definite yes or an adamant no, if you like this king of fruits. It is an art watching the stall holders slice open the large prickly fruit unveiling the unusual pale green/yellow fruit. It has a textile of a very sweet avocado and a very pungent smell. So much so, that many hotels have a note in the terms and conditions stating that no durian fruit is to be consumed in the hotel or the guest rooms. I so wanted to enjoy this fruit despite the overpowering unusual smell however it was a definite no for me. Not to be disappointed I did enjoy the bright pink dragonfruit, which was absolutely delicious.
Now after my fruit escapades I turned the corner of the outer part of the market to find a gentleman with this watch repair stall, then I noted he had vintage and other random items for sale at the back of his small space. Keeping in mind packing up items to take home, I asked the gent to pass me the tray at the top of a shelf, it was full of dirt and he rapidly wiped it with his dirty cloth. I asked him how much and he quickly responded with fifty five Singaporean dollars. I had a good look and advised him that I would have another wonder around the market and then decide if I wanted it. Within all of twenty seconds he then said twenty five dollars (GBP 14.00), I had fallen under the spell and knew it would look good with my art deco glass trolley and cabinet. After the deal was done the friendly gent tried to sell more of his mass produced newer items, politely declining I made hast back to the air conditioned room of my hotel. The hot humid conditions were becoming exhaustive so with an hour to cool down in the hotel and a long cool glass of fresh coconut juice, I was once again for my afternoon explorations.