Opening her luggage after her arrival, it was fairly apparent that some serious shopping needed to happen. Moving to Belgium, her fear of not having Thai food available had gotten the better of her. Pants, tops, socks and tees had gradually been sacrificed for fruit, vegetables, spices and traditional dance outfits. After dipping a toe in the water at Wijnegem shopping center last week, we decided to Antwerp city center when the first rays of sunshine were out. A colorful day of shopping in a refreshing way.
It’s not that Thai food and its ingredients are in short supply in Belgium. The Seing Thai (Antwerp) and Kam Yuen (Brussels) supermarkets carry almost any Eastern product and have gained a regular customer since Khwantippa is here. The 30kg of airborne vegetables acted like a kind of security blanket, I suspect.
Since they have been devoured or perished, all that remains are traditional Thai dance outfits. Basically, what I have is a beautiful wife in late 19th century traditional attire. Beautiful for sure, but might raise a few brows at some of the events we attend. A visit to Antwerp’s Meir shopping street was needed.
With Antwerp’s city center in disarray due to construction, we chose to take the train. An adventure for Khwantippa, but for me just as well. I learned that public transport is ideally suited for families with large amounts of particularly loud children, adults who have discussions with themselves and African women who love to talk on the phone, out loud. Basically, when you are looking for a moving forum for sounds made by your vocal chords, the train is the mode of transport for you.
Shopping with a Thai partner is extremely colorful and fun. It does draw different kinds of (mostly positive) attention. The main reason being the fact that any occasion is a photo opportunity, especially for millennial Thai. Every shop turns into a massive catwalk, which immediately brightens up the place. People notice what clothes Khwantippa is trying and store personnel are very eager to help her out. I will come back to this topic, as it warrants further observation.
Finding the right size, however, is an issue. Most shops do not carry small sizes, which is a particularly big problem at Esprit. Plenty of clothes that Khwantippa likes, but none in extra small sizing.
The discovery of the day was the Levi’s store. They have almost any denim size available and do size adjustments free of charge, without any time constraint … meaning that you can have any original Levi’s jeans adjusted at any time after purchase. Isn’t that nifty?
The original jeans manufacturer is coming back in a huge way. Classic rugged styling and timeless fundamentals fit right in with my current taste. About a year ago I decided that Diesel denim wasn’t for me, any longer. Done with too extravagant choices, I also toned down my beloved Superdry tees to SD’s muted copper label. Extremely popular when I was a teenager, it looks like Levi’s is working its way back into my wardrobe. How do you like my new (slightly washed) sweater?
As for Khwantippa … when she does find her size, almost anything suits her. Among her favorites are Zara, Bershka and H&M (for gym wear). Where I am slightly muting my color choices, she seems to be brightening up her wardrobe, no longer having to dress too conservatively as a teacher.
Future shopping trips will be aiming at hand bags and your input is highly welcome. Any secret shopping destinations for smaller sizes and bags … do let us know.
To be continued, I’m sure.