Antiques Made to Order

In a world where 65 year olds have no wrinkles, where
Photoshop magically gives adult women the 18 inch waist Scarlett O’Hara dreamed
of, and spell check makes us all appear more clever than we really are, you
would think I would be used to the idea that nothing is as it appears.
Still it’s a bit of a shock to see signs in store windows
here in Bali announcing, ANTIQUES MADE TO ORDER.
Reminder, trust nothing unless you buy directly from the
craftsperson (or in the case of antiques, someone who attended the McKinley
inauguration. 

So I bought this bag in Beijing from a woman dressed in
traditional Tibetan garb, the hat, the draping, the skin darkened by years
without sunscreen.  The only one of its
kind in her booth.  A ratty looking booth
in an open-air market.  Price, about $20
USD after a respectable negotiation, good for her, good for me.  Not a designer bag, but designed by someone
and good looking.  Hand stitched.  Deep enough to carry my tech stuff.  Not exactly directly from the craftsperson,
but not too many people in the food chain making money off of the crafts
people.  Good deal.

I get to Bali and my friends Larry and Rai Collins take a
look at the bag and say, nice bag, we bought some for friends in Thailand last
year.
Not Tibet?  I ask?
No.  Thailand.  $6.
Okay.  $6 – $20, not
too bad of a mark up.  Who knows how much
the ladies got for all that hand stitching. 
More people in the food chain than I would have liked.
So, yesterday we are in a juice bar having seriously healthy
carrot/apple/ginger juice and what do we see hanging for sale?  One of kind? 
Hand stitching and all?
Same bag.
$150 USD.
True story. 
Or is it?

3 responses to “Antiques Made to Order”

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