So it’s that time of the year when you are heading home in two weeks and you realize you need to get a wedding gift for your good friend whose wedding you had missed last November. And you actually haven’t bought her a wedding gift yet (whatever happened to wedding registries?), much less a decent funky Chinese style gift since you happen to be working in China.
As we’ve known better by now, Shanghai is anything but a shopping haven most people made it out to be. Take away the luxury brand-name items (which are cheaper if you get them overseas) and the knockoffs (fresh-off-the-boat foreigners are always obsessed with), we are left with overpriced run-of-the-mill products from malls that we are not willing to pay an arm and a leg for.
Factor in “Chinese style”, and we are officially in a bind. Shanghai Tang is out of budget while Shirtflag is too casual. We refuse to fork out ten-times flea market prices for Maoist memorabilia and we don’t have the bride’s feet size measurements. Out of almost sheer desperation, we recalled seeing a Chinese lacquer box a while ago in a store at The Loft and decided to head there last Sunday afternoon in spite of the cold and dreary weather.
Thankfully, we found what we were looking for – a red Chinese lacquer box with white bronze flip down fastening (though if we have it our way, we would prefer it to be brass). In the end, we got the bigger box, a steal at RMB 250 (slightly smaller version at RMB 220) and it is available in two colors, green and red. We dig the classic minimalist style that does not scream blatant Chinese, perfect as the long-overdue wedding gift.
The Loft – No. 508 Jiashan Road Building 1 Room 215, near Jianguo Xi Road
尚街 – 嘉善路508号1号楼215室，近建国西路