About acrylic Buddha Statues, Online Shopping and The Year of the Dragon

yellow transparent acrylic Buddha

From my actual hometown Bangkok, Thailand I am writing this. From the Italian side no news so far. Hence, I thought you might enjoy my weekend finds from Bangkok in the meantime. It was a spontaneous trip to the market on Saturday - during the Chinese New Year weekend.

small colourful acrylic Buddha statues

One friend had recently discovered a small stand that sells colourful acrylic Buddha statues. And me and another friend wanted to see where. So we hopped on a taxi.

The small statues are transparent or mat and have a kind of golden antique finish. However the larger statues look at least as good! What a difficult choice!

large acrylic buddhas with matt and golden finish

Via my iPhone I mailed my friend back in Germany this picture directly from the site, asking her which one she would prefer. This is a new dimension of online shopping! She opted for the orange one (that looks too golden in the picture above).

Two hours later I was already back home and did not only collected colorful impressions, but also some decorative objects:

The large orange Buddha 

Acrylic orange Buddha at night

small acrylic transparent buddhas in orange, yellow and clear

And since today is the first day of The Year of the Dragon, I am wishing you a Happy Chinese New Year form Bangkok ! The Dragon is seen as the most powerful sign of the Chinese zodiac. May it be a happy, lucky, healthy, successful and prosperous year for all of you!

Happy New Year of the Dragon from Bangkok

For a few more pictures from Chinatown please visit my Bangkok blog.

Grocery Shopping in Vibo Marina

Today, I am taking a break from Pizzo and the house and am staying in Vibo Marina with son and mother in law. Actually, we did not stay home but went out for grocery shopping and more:

selection of fresh cheese at the newly opened local minimarket Baldo

selection of pasta - pasta for every day (Barilla) and pasta for sunday (De Cecco) in all kind of forms

selection of local wines (Ciro) starting at around 4 Euro

chili pastes in all kind of versions, sold as "Viagra Calabrese" or "Bomba Calabrese"

the local fish shop with the catch of the day

passing an old house with palm and olive trees (the weather is nice again)

At a local furniture shop I asked for matresses and found out that our bed size 180cm x 200cm is not a standard size in Italy and therefor we would need to order the matresses 180x200 or two by 90x200. One month delivery time and 30% more expensive. I will have to check another shop. But the modern wardrobe on display in the shop might be usefull for storage... I will need to check and measure the space in the house.

And last but not least we stopped by the local barber shop.

our boy gets a very professional haircut for 5 Euro

After lunch break we are going on another shopping tour in Vibo Valentia.

flooring progress at primo piano and other plans

primo piano corridorio
with entrance to the red bathroom (front left), further kids room and tiny bathroom (far end)

sunshine from the piazza comes in via a small balcony

barrier-free flooring thanks to perfect pavement

the stair rail painted white with refurbished wooden hand grip
stairs are leading down to main entrance (with apricot coloured walls)

Before Angelo left Pizzo to meet us for a skiing holiday in the Swiss Alps he sent me these pics that I just found after our return. He is driving down to Pizzo these days to continue the flooring and painting.

We, husband, son and I, have scheduled our next visit to the South of Italy for April in order to decide on kitchens and other items. Maybe we even have to include a trip to Sicily for the nearest and newest Ikea outlet, opening March 9 in Catania. It's a 3 hours drive "only". (So far the next Ikea is located in Bari, a 4 1/2 hours drive). However, we probably could find everything we need in the region between Vibo Valentia, Filadelfia, Maida and Lamezia. But still, Ikea is known for fair quality and good prices and if they deliver to our door step, we consider buying mattresses, kitchen parts and other items there.

SALDI -% SALE -% has started in Italy

This week the winter sale has started in Italy. In the news on TV the different starting dates by region were announced. In the Veneto the start for the sale (saldi) was January 4th. Of course I went on a little shopping tour with  my mother-in-law. This does not mean that we walked from shop to shop downtown. Italians like bargains (as the rest of us). But they really like to get a good deal and therefor they check out personally and secretly recommended shopping addresses in the darkest corners of industrial zones. They were also my best "customers" when I still lived in China regarding cashmere sweaters and pearl and corall necklaces.

So, first we checked an outlet store in Mestre (near Venice). In Italy outlet stores are very popular. They are selling designer pieces from the last season (and even the second last season) at 30 - 70 % off, while the luxury brands would not have a big sale sign in their shop windows downtown.

I only like shopping during sales (saldi )

The next day we drove from village to village between Venice and Padova and dropped in a few small leather goods producing family businesses. Here in this region many family owned leather factories still hand make shoes and bags for the big design labels in Italy, France, UK and the US.

Many years ago I found Jimmy Choo sandals for 80 Euro. I still love and wear them,  they are comfortable and of great quality. This time I came across some interesting gum boots by Burberry.  Gum boots were on my list as I need them to accompany my son to sometimes muddy playgrounds. Of course I did not entend to buy a brand name, nor I expected to buy some in Italy. In Germany (where I live at the moment) the weather is not that great and even when its rainy we would walk through the city or go on playgrounds (after the rain!) because otherwise we would have to stay home for days or weeks. So gum boots could be quiet practical - and in the last years it became even fashionable to walk around in gum boots, like a British aristocrat does (maybe?) .

My new gum boots, but not for acqua alta !

When I tried the boots on, the last pair, size 41, they fitted perfectly (when wearing thick socks). The price was down to 65 Euro (!). The saleswoman said: "e regalato" - that's nothing! And she also said: "non sono per acqua alta!" - they are not for the high tide in Venice! What a pitty! Because the boots had zips going down very low... Not very practical probably to keep the feet dry - maybe that's why they did not sell - but for that price I could give it a try, I thought.

After all, we bought so many items for "just nothing" that it summed up quiet nicely.
In another shop I found some shoes, and in a third shop a matching purse. The last one is my favorite family business, they do purses in LV Speedy and Hermes Kelly style in any leather and colour.  Please do not ask for the address, only my mother-in-law knows the way ;-).

It really worth shopping in Italy during the sale. This is no secret. Among Asian women especially the Japanese have found out long ago and fly in for the bargain hunt. Many good outlet stores can be found in and around Milano, the fashion capital of Italy, but also near other major cities.

Shopping in Venice: VENETIA STUDIUM

In the heart of Venice you might come across a little shop that has beautiful silk lamps, handbags and scarf, elegant velvet cushion covers and table runners in modern and oriental style. The shop windows always magically attracts me and my husband. And you can read the magic Roman letters : VENETIA STVDIVM - which is the Venetia Studium company that has several showrooms all near San Marco square.

Fortuny silk lamp "Cesendello" on the rod and silk scarves.
We like the style of the lamp, that is influenced like all the Venetia Studium products by the "history of Venice and its links to the Byzantium and the East".  However, we have no idea (yet) where to use it. Actually we look at this lamp as long as we visit Venice together, since over 13 years!

Scarves, shawls, handbags and cushion covers made of silk or velvet - and the elaborated glass lamp Saraceno.

Another Venetia Studium shop with similar window display ...

... and another shop specialised in cushion covers and table runners
Here my friend from Bangkok needs to shop for a friend in Thailand (that's why I saw all the shops!)

Little detail: I especially liked the typical Venetian terrazzo floor
(and the interesting Italian shoes of an Italian male)

PS: Venetia Studium has a showroom in London and selected products can be ordered online