Ha ha! So true. I can remember all that! The best was the market at uatre Bornes in Mauritius which sold wonderful French fabrics by Boussac et al. manufactured in Mauritius. The trouble was getting them home on the bus, or in a little mini owned by a S.African friend. What larks!
In Manila all the expat ladies used amazing taylors and dressmakers who would even come to your home to measure you up for ballgowns. A friend went to the dressmaker's little workshop to take delivery of her ballgown for the Queen's birthday Ball, only to be told to wait at the filling station, Ma'am, we are flooded out.
A few mins. later an assistant came wading through the murky water with the ballgown securely packed and on his head!
I think your experience took quite a few hours off the record!
I loved your editorial today, it was so African - I can remember all the old tailor shops in the back of Fort Street of Bulawayo - it was amazing what they could turn out from such cramped space on decrepit machines. I have just ordered curtains for my new cottage It is going to take 3 weeks before they are ready
AND I know it is going to take longer because it is coming up to the silly season when everyone decides to re-carpet or re-curtain their homes for the Christmas season to impress their visitors. When I got the quote I had to take a week to get over the shock, having worked in textiles for the past 30 years to pay R290 a metre for a voile is highway robbery but as I no longer work where I can buy the designer fabrics at manufacturers prices, had no option but to pay and shut up.
HeeHoo also had his little bit to add when he remembered he and his buddy Dave MacMillan bicycled from Harare to Mount Darwin.
For some reason they had to kick their heels in a tiny little Zimbabwean Hamlet, where they encountered a tailor, also in a makeshift hut with a treadle sewing machine.
HeeHoo describes how he and Dave lay under a shady Marula tree and the tailor made them up a couple of gaudy shirts, in a matter of a couple of hours!!
They wore these shame custom made shirts in indescribable colours, to Lake McIlwane to Sandros and Le Coq Dor for years to come until they left school and went their separate ways in life!!!