Back in the U.S., I posted a “gratitude post” about craft stores. Allow me to introduce you to The Junkateria, where I go to search for things like rubber bands, gift bags, stickers, marbles, embroidery floss, pipe cleaners, floral foam, ribbon and other craft items. Located near Yu Gardens, The Junkateria is a thirty-minute commute across the river to Puxi, the other side of Shanghai.
My friend Susie C. measures the distance between the different shops.
Shops sit side by side and collide into each other through intersecting hallways. It’s a five-story building with mazes of stalls full of junk, hence the name Junkateria. Many of the shops carry the exact same items and moderate bargaining is allowed. The air is hot and stuffy, with smells of sweat, body odor, cigarette smoke, bad breath, loogies on the floor and throngs of people pushing you in all directions. I carry Pinky Stinky for two reasons:
1. Safety. I don’t want her to get crushed by the onslaught of people.
2. Hygiene. The floor is littered with trash, cigarette butts and dreaded loogies.
The Junkateria is an experience to remember. It’s full of adventure and memories in the making, but not for the faint of heart, nor the Claustrophobic.
I trek out there whenever I need a craft item. But most of the time, I just want a JoAnn’s.