Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Explore Shanghai: Dongtai Lu Antique Market

Junkie Alert! 

The following place will seem totally unappealing to my mother, and probably many of you as well, for for those into really old things, or looking into interesting props or home decor, this is where you can dig out interesting stuff:

If we ever have such items at home, Mum will throw them out with no second thoughts. She doesn't believe in clutter. Not that I'm a hoarder, but sometimes we keep things because they have some special meaning, or the items are attached to a particular piece of memory, or maybe because "someday we might need them". 

Don't tell me you've never kept items just because. I'm not so bad now. At least not in the acquisition of things. If you don't acquire them, you won't need to figure out what to do with them or face the difficult decision of throwing them out later, right? Especially when you don't exactly like it enough for it to take up a spot in your S$60,000 room space. (Assuming you live in a S$300,000 HDB flat.) 

Home space is precious in Singapore, so these days I consider something very carefully before I actually acquire it. (I stood in front of a tissue box holder in Franc Franc for 20 minutes before deciding to get it, and that is after I picked it up, put it down and circled the store for 45 minutes.)

Most stalls sell the same old things, so I wonder how these owners earn their keep. If you wish to get old coins, those old-school green canvas school bags, crockery, male beads (???), weird statues of Chinese mythical creatures, Mao Zedong memorabilia, old televisions, or even 80-year-old trunk cases which you don't mind if it's not LV, you can come here. 

There ARE interesting things if you look hard enough, except I'm a little superstitious when it comes to old old old old items. Especially things like vases (goodness know what has gone in there), clothes, watches... They give me the creeps. Plus old things almost always have this....smell. 

That said, I do like certain old things, because they have an understated charm and mysterious air about them, like this gramophone that I found:

Can you see the angels engraved in the "petals"? (What do you call that part of the gramophone?!)

This shop also sells old sewing machines and grandfather clocks! One statement item is all u need to up the vintage vibes in your home decor.


Almost everyone smokes in China. Simply because cigarettes are dirt cheap over there. RM15 for Marlboro Lights or something. Divide that by 5. S$3. THREE FRIGGIN' SINGAPORE DOLLARS! Here it costs close to $12? #ThatsWhy 

What comes to mind when you think about Shanghai? How about Shanghai movies? 
Yup, Shanghainese women with perfectly coiffed hair, red lipstick, tight bodies in Cheongsams (with bushy underarms), and sucking long and hard on a cigarette 夜上海-style. Think Lust, Caution. Or 2046 with Maggie Cheung minus the armpit hair. 

Copies. Imitations. Fakes. Whatever you call them. They're not the originals, for sure. Then add the ah-yi inside the shop at the side of the picture yelling at me "No picture no picture!!!" 

Oh the irony. \^.^/

By the way I wasn't trying to "copy" her pictures for duplication pictures. The 3 arses with 2 butt cracks caught my amused attention. 

Dongtai Lu Antique Market is at Dongtai Lu, between Fuxing Lu & Congde Lu, or enter from another entrance between Xizang Lu & Liuhe Lu.

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