My mother, stepfather, and I went fabric shopping yesterday at the market. At first sight it reminded me of an even more overwhelming version of Shuk Ha’Carmel, if that is possible. The majority of the vendors were a barn much like the ones at the state fair that house cattle and prize chickens. Where you would find the stalls are 15 foot tall wooden ladders holding batiks and tie-dyes, hand painted wax dyes, and sarongs of every color and pattern imaginable. No one except the seller has any idea what the price will be until someone asks. and the way they decide on the yardage they will sell you is the most peculiar thing. I found a fabric I liked and my mother helped me negotiate a price. The strange part is that instead of saying “I will give you 6000Fr of 3 meters” you say “I want a long dress” and they take your measurements and sell you how much it takes to make a long dress. Fascinating! They really should do it this way in the states, it would greatly cut down on people buying and hoarding fabric they are never going to use.
At the suggestion of the house girls I am getting some dresses made incase my baggage never arrives. (If it doesn’t arrive this weekend it is unlikely to get here… it is currently Sunday) The fabric I picked out is a beautiful blue, green, and white wax print with a coordinating light blue sash. Enough fabric for a knee-length dress cost 8000Fr ($4) and our tailor charges a negotiable 7000Fr for the sewing. The entire ordeal will cost me about $9 or $10 american dollars, after I add a couple thousand franc tip.