Sunday, May 27, 2012

Reason #26 to Love Taiwan

I think I'm at 26, anyway.

Getting clothes made or copied.

In college, I walked into a Goodwill once (as one does when one is in college and something of a nascent hipster, although I never quite made it to actual hipsterdom...I think) and saw this used faux leather jacket for sale for $6:

(This picture is at least 5 years old).

I wore it through the rest of college, to China, for a few years after I got back from China, and brought it to Taiwan where I wore it until the faux leather had deteriorated to the point where I could not possibly wear it any longer. As in, big tears under the armpits and patches where the netted lining, but not the "leather", was still there. I'd worn that already used jacket for at least 8 years since I bought it. For years it languished in a bag in my closet until I finally got my act together and took it to a tailor on Dihua Street. She made the copy and then sent it off to a specialist for the dragon embroidery. They couldn't do it by machine so she did it by hand. It cost me a pretty penny (far more than $6!) but what I got back was amazing:


Yes, it's a 5-clawed golden dragon, which a.) is a male symbol and b.) was once reserved for the emperor, but whatevs. I wanted a dragon, not a phoenix and Chinese symbolism can stuff it. I've always been more interested in male symbols (tigers, dragons, yang rather than yin) than female ones (plum blossoms, yin, phoenixes) anyway.

I couldn't have had this done - I couldn't have afforded the hand-embroidery, certainly (which came to NT$2700 alone, which I obviously can afford) - in the USA.

I still wonder, other than for family reasons, what the point of going "home" would ever be.

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