Monday, September 24, 2012

A Trip to the Bowels of the Earth

Ever since I was a little girl, I can remember taking trips to one of the world's largest open-air markets. I have no proof to support this statement other than I cannot imagine there being a larger market than Divisoria. When you step off of the jeepney (public transportation vehicle), you step onto a never-ending conveyor belt of humanity moving every which direction. The smells of raw, open sewage singe your nose hairs, you constantly have to watch where you step for fear of an open man-hole or banana peel, you clutch your bag tightly to your chest to keep all your possessions yours, and you hold your bladder for as long as you can, all day if possible.
My 2010 Christmas card was taken in Divisoria

This truck was trying to navigate the narrow streets.
The guy with the stick is lifting up rope that vendors
string across the street in order for the truck to
pass under it
But, if you want to find cheap school supplies, just about any type of fabric, upholstery or pleather, China-made kitchen doo-dad, buttons, wedding gowns, wedding favors, Christmas decor, shoes, backpacks, suitcases, towels, blankets, ribbons, netting, fishing wire, autoparts, or just about any other item you can think of, the best place to go is Divisoria. So you brave the stench, the crowds, the sweat, and even the abject poverty and descend into the bowels of the earth and just hope and pray you come out alive.

Cindy perusing some of the options
Today it was curtain fabric. Cindy (the other American RN) and I needed 50-some-odd yards of different material to "treat" our windows. We were armed with our most comfortable shoes, big bags (back-pack worn in front for me), color samples, water bottles, and money and set off. It was driving my vehicle to some random subdivision to park then walk to the start of the Metro Rail Transit system, a 30 minute ride to the other end of the line, and then a 10 minute jeepney ride. We arrived just as shops were opening.

At first we were kind of disappointed...we were not looking for polyester Christmas material, school uniforms, or wedding dress material. Just plain cotton will do. After shooting down numerous rat holes in condemned buildings, we stumbled across several vendors. Slowly our bags filled and our backs began to ache. By this time my shirt was mostly soaked. While looking for our last few yards, we stumbled back into the light of day and onto a busy street. We found a vendor with a huge tarp on the ground and bolts and bolts of random fabric.
Diving into the middle to find what we like
What caught our eye was beautiful Christmas tablecloth material which we both decided to grab for the upcoming holidays...While the vendors were busy cutting up some pretty Christmas plaid fabric I spotted, I suddenly hear Cindy gasp and yell, "Oh-my-goodness-they-have-Thanksgiving-too!" That just might have been the most excited I've ever seen this woman! I might have spotted a tear of overwhelming delight spring from her eye. Then Cindy literally (!!!) dove into the mass of fabric and found some perfect damask for our green-themed alternative delivery room.

After the fabric was cut, packaged, and our bags filmed to the brim, we treked to the corner McDonald's (that didn't use to be there when I was a kid!) for some sustenance before beginning the homeward journey. Wanna see what fabric we got? You'll have to wait until it's in the windows! :)

Exhausted after a successful trip!

1 comment:

  1. Hi there!

    I have a quick question about your blog! Please email me when you get a chance.