No, I’m not talking about a new hair product or even a children’s TV character.
Sham Shui Po is an area of Hong Kong that I’ve known about for some time but have only recently discovered. I had heard it was ‘the’ place to go for fabrics, beads, buttons, any kind of decorative items, toys, watches, you name it.
A few months ago a friend and I decided to check it out and see what all the fuss was about. It’s basically a few streets over in Kowloon that have regular Chinese street names but are more commonly known as ‘Toy Street’, ‘Bead Street’, ‘Ribbon Street’ – I think I’ve made my point.
After a bit of exploring and iphone Maps dependence we suddenly felt like we had stepped into some kind of Enid Blyton world. We found whole shops dedicated to selling just one thing, either beads, ribbon etc. Even though I am far away from being a crafty creative kind of person, I still had that feeling that I needed to buy something and lots of it! It was all just too pretty and if nothing else the shops make great photos!
If only Eden was a few years older I would have bought her gallons of beads but if I’d come home with them that day she would have probably ingested most of them before the day was out! At least I know where to come when she’s ready.
Instead I kept my money to myself until we reached ‘Toy Street’. There it would be impossible for any parent to resist making purchases – and it’s all so cheap, a phrase I rarely utter in this city. So instead of gallons of beads, I came home with about a million stickers and returned again with a friend a few weeks ago to what should really be called ‘Going Home Present Street’ and stocked up on gifts for kids to take home after Joshua’s and Eden’s birthday parties, not to mention extra bits and bobs I couldn’t resist for the kids and even a little gimmicky present for Dan – naturally!