Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm not friends with the sun anymore

Dear people who read my blog,

How was your weekend? Want to hear me whine about mine? First of all, I wish to declare that from today onwards, I will no longer do outdoors craft markets. Please remind me if I should forget. I do recall making such a declaration a year ago but I soon forgot about it.

I am not a outdoorsy kind of person. You know that right? I don't do camping. I don't do picnics. I'm an indoor kind of person. There has to be a roof, a door and preferably air-conditioning. Clearly I forgot all that. After spending 3 days outdoors over the weekend manning my stall, let me just say this. I am such a freaking princess!

The craft market was just 5 counters right in the middle of a path used by many pedestrians to get from one building to another. The whole day, people just streamed past us in droves. It was not easy to get people to stop and have a look around. I can understand why. It was hot and humid.

Table on Friday

I was hot and humid. Sweat poured out of me all the time. I drank water and juice the whole day just to keep myself hydrated.

5 Reasons Why I Shouldn't Do Outdoor Craft Market
- I die without air-conditioning
- There are insects
- People smoke in front of you
- The sun
- I develop bra rash

I have recovered from my bra rash, thank you. The trouble with open spaces is it attracts smokers who make it their smoking corners and they have no issue smoking a few steps away from you. In addition, it attracts couples who have public display of affection issue. They neck in front of you. I mean, really go at it. For minutes.

I only had to man my stall for 5 hours on Friday. 5 hours really dragged especially when my sales really stank. It didn't help that sales for the seller on my right was spectacular.

Well, all Friday evening, I started at this poster at a cafe a few steps away from my stall. Guess what I had for dinner?

It came in a really long plate. The luncheon meat was nice. The egg was good. But the rest of it was too oily. Still I finished everything.

Entertainment came in the form of returning birds. Just a few steps in front of my stall is an open-air car park where there are many tall trees. These trees are home to birds. Not 1 bird. Not 2 birds. Not 10 or 20 birds. But a GAZILLION birds. And they return home to roost TOGETHER. Not quietly either. Every darn bird twitting away. I felt like I was going completely deaf. But if I were completely deaf, I wouldn't be able to hear a GAZILLION birds twitting.

And for 3 evenings, I sat thru' the Coming Home cacaphony.

Table on Saturday

I spent 12 hours at the stall on Saturday. It was mercilessly hot and humid. Although I kept myself hydrated, I think I passed out a few times. Or maybe fell asleep. I couldn't tell the difference. At some point, I fantasized smoking pot. No, not the illegal kind of pot. I live in Singapore you know - where drug possession (over a certain weight) means death by hanging if caught. You understand I live a very clean life. I don't smoke - not even second hand smoke, I don't drink and I don't even listen to heavy metal. 2 tablets of panadol is all it takes to get me high as a kite.

But last Saturday, I hallucinated about smoking pot - the cooking pot kind. Though I don't know how it can be smoked. Alright, I'll admit the fantasy wasn't well thought out. Well, my body was kinda over-heated so it's understandable. Fortuanately sales was not bad so I was brought to my senses from time to time when a customer bought from me. Shaken awake more likely.

Sunday was a litle less hot. But I was still traumatised from the previous day's heat and over-compensated with the drinks. This aloe vera ice blended drink really spoke to me. I definitely over drank because I had to keep peeing.

My stall is next to a Charlie Brown cafe and almost every minute, someone is posing next to Snoopy for a pic.

When I started taking pics of unattractive plants, I knew I was thoroughly bored. Sunday's sales dropped but was still better than Friday's.

Overall, the people who stopped by my stall were pretty nice. I only had one bad experience. This foreign lady wanted to buy one of my larger bags. She was unwilling to pay the stated price. She offered to pay for the bag in her currency. Not at an equivalent rate but an amount she was willing to pay. (I checked the exchange rate when I went home and she had given herself a $15 discount!) I declined her offer and told her I couldn't give her a discount. Then she reasoned that after a currency conversion, my bag would be very costly to her. I still wouldn't budge. How could her country's weak currency be my concern? But I kept this thought to myself. Rather miffed, the lady pointed to the top stitches on my bag and asked if I used a sewing machine to sew the stitches. I said yes, of course.

She jerked her thumb at my HANDMADE signage and said, "and you say Handmade!"

That was her parting shot. Yeah, she TOLD me. Apparently, I can't call my stuff handmade seeing how I use a sewing machine! Well, sticks and stones may break my bones, at least she didn't steal from me!


Bethany said...

Ugh. Just ugh. I'm a pansy in the heat - I simply wilt. Plus I sweat, which I hate. When I get hot and sweaty I will punch a nun in the face, I can't stand the feeling that much. Plus the heat gives me migraines. I don't know how you lasted for 3 days. I can't believe some people - I wouldn't have the nerve to ask for a discount, and if I worked it up I would probably only meekly say "Is there any wiggle room with this price?" and if told no I'd buy it anyway. I guess I don't handmake anything either :) And don't worry - I'll remind you in an all caps comment not to do an outdoor market if you ever mention it again :)

Sherry Edwards said...

Oh Jane, what an experience! Your blog post did make me laugh once or twice though, very funny! Your stall looks so pretty too, what a shame sales weren't all that good and troublesome customers too - what do they know anyway!

It's hard to think of you in all that heat when here in the UK it's presently pouring down with rain! We have been promised a mini heatwave later this week - temps in high 20s, well just have to see about that!

Take care, and stick to the inside in future eh!

tamdoll said...

Jane! I don't know how you did it. I think the smokers would have bothered me the most. At least you had sales and no theft this time!!! Now you have me thinking, when I was in California this summer there were medical marijuana places all over the beach - I took some pictures, I will have to post them online when I find where I saved them. It was really amusing and a little shocking to see people hawking it in businesses.

Next time you are planning an outdoor market, can you bring a fan? Or should we all just remind you not to do it????

Relished Artistry said...

That Aloe Vera drink looked yummy!

And since when do people feel like they can haggle things? The price you set is set for a reason--I'm kind of stunned by the audacity of that woman!! Geesh! But you handled it like a pro! Well done! Don't give in to craziness like hers--stick to your guns! And to do it with that much heat with so much fatigue--Kudos!!! : )

CuriousJess said...

This is one of my favorite posts! I couldn't stop laughing. We have a lot in common and I think we would be great friends :) Sorry about the crazy lady maybe she too was hallucinating from the heat.

punkychewster said...

omg the nerve of that lady! does she not know what "handmade" means? she's retarded.

i don't know if i'm able to tahan the heat in singapore anymore! poor you!

anyhoo. you have any time away from crafting, i've awarded you an award go check it out and spread the love too!!

i'm working towards the magic "100" number for my stock. that will be my goal, altho it doesn't necessarily mean i will meet it! i will try my best!

Jennie said...

Great post! Sorry to hear about the heat and not so fantastic sales.

That lady sounds super crazy. Obviously she was thinking she should pay sweat shop wages. ;)

Have a great weekend!

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