The problem with living in Africa: manufacturers (of anything) show no signs of remorse selling substandard merchandise to people who can't defend themselves in the so-called "Third World." My sewing machine bobbins (plastic) reminded me of this painful reality as the ones I recently bought from Singer break apart after being wound two or three times. Really substandard. So I had to go to the Singer store to buy the largest quantity I could get. They only had sixteen bobbins left--that will have to hold me for awhile.
Then I walked up the street,
past the "Place de l'Indépendance,"
which now looks like this (some independence, huh?),
and on to the Rue Charles de Gaulle, a busy downtown street
where my favorite notions shop is located.
The sign proclaims "articles de Paris," suggesting high quality imported products (and rather high prices), and the neatly arranged windows show all kinds of tempting notions and goodies.
Like most shops in Tunis, the space is limited, however, the owners keep it well organized and clean. Not very many customers however.
This is where I find my milliner's needles and my favorite Thiriez cotton thread (French made). I needed the purple and brown, but obviously couldn't resist the dazzle of the other colors.
Then I walked a couple more blocks, noticed an interesting old door along the way,
and arrived at the shop where I buy batt. This shop is the opposite of
my favorite notions shop, and a total adventure!
One can't miss the batting. The owner uses it to stop cars from parking in front
and blocking access to his tiny shop.
Ali Baba's cavern comes to mind.
This very narrow shop has a high ceiling, a back room, and a narrow ladder to a mezzanine storage area. Miraculously, the owner knows exactly where everything is stored. Despite space constraints, a continual flow of customers crowd in.
And to finish off a good day, I found a shop that sharpens knives
and (more importantly) scissors.
With the exception of the large Singer scissors on the left, these were my mom's. The black-handled scissors are made by Wiss and still going strong after 50 years of use. When I got home, I tested them all out on a piece of white scrap fabric and realized I had been using dull scissors for the last 25 years.
All in all, it was an excellent day.