Wednesday, 15th April 2015
It is my last day of the Asiatour at BERNINA Korea. During the morning I organized and packed my luggage for the next destination India, finally there is just the height of summer. All warm clothes go deep in the suitcase and the summerlights are on top. Some preparing of my hand luggage for the overnight flight to Mumbai, taking a deep breath. The last few days just passed by and countless impressions are stored and captured on the camera. I am still hovering between dream and reality. Everthing went better than I had ever expected.
The people I met were fulfilled with peacefulness, politeness, loyalty and respect, keeping an inner dignity as I have never experienced before. It was so refreshing to be there, far away from the critical, envious and negative demeanor that unfortunately many people in my country produce.
There was a very small situation, I still would like to tell here, that I was very touched about. During a presentation of my work at the end of a class in Seongnam I was asked by a participant, how I came to sewing and later to textile art. I began to tell this career, as another participant said: “It is quite simple, it is her “Natural”. It was such a beautiful and comprehensive and such a simple description of my job and my intention.
It was time to place the room key at the reception of the hotel and to pack the luggage into the car, Mr. Kim, Jong Kyeong Lee and a friend of her were waiting for me to take me into Seoul City and to a fabric market. You can imagine how excited I was!
Seoul is a metropole with nearly 10 million inhabitants on 605 square kilometers, comparatively New York has 1214 square kilometers and 8 million inhabitants. Side by side is living and working.
Traffic was immense and I did not envy Mr. Kim for driving. But he seemed not to mind. And at this moment I knew nothing more about traffic in India….
Suddenly he slowed down, did a full rotation and drove with a flourish into a driveway. Car doors were open immediately “Get out of the car, quick!” What was going on? At first I thought the police had taken us out, then I looked around and thought he needed to get some fuel for the car. But when we all got out of the car and he handed the keys out to a man in uniform, who sat down in the car, Jong Kyeong Lee took my arm and took me with here, I started to understand. It was lunchtime and they had given the car for parking.
This very well-known restaurant in Seoul seemed quite popular. Who did not come in time hat to wait patiently in a queue at the entrance. But certainly not too long, because service in all Korean restaurants is superfast high and attentive.
Mr. Kim and Jong Kyeong Lee ordered the classic “Bulgogi” for all of us.
After the meal, we went out into the sunny and mild spring day, waiting for our car. When I asked where this was parked, Mr. Kim pointed to the related tower. Something I looked at in disbelief. Cars were taken in and out, lifted up and down by an elevator system. It does make sense in this narrow city to take advantage of the ups and downs in construction technology.
We are approaching the area of the fabric market. Not much to see yet, but the hustle and bustle in the city is interesting to look at too. In the meantime we have left the car again in a parking garage and are walking on foot now.
Come into paradise! First, Jong Kyeong Lee took me to her favourite fabric store, a traditional classic quilt shop with everything the heart of a Korean quilter desires. And mine also began to beat very fast, looking at all these temptations! Come in and have a look too!
Of course I wanted to take a couple of Korean fabrics, especially as the price was indecently low. So I chose a few different ones and placed the bales on the cutting table.
Aren’t these two ladies just great?
Let’s enter the fabric market. This material storage warehouse, whatever you call it, is enormeous. I had no idea what to expect. At 25.000 square meters, in two opposite buildings with 5 floors everthing is offered that has something to do with yarn, fabric and accessories for sewing. As I had to be at 16:15h at the latest at the airport for check-in we just rushed through!
What I wanted to see in particular, were the traditional silk fabrics for making traditional Korean costumes.
I was fascinated by all those different silks and colours!
She is lovely, isn’t she?
Books of traditional korean patterns:
Here they are again, the ramie fabrics for the traditional Korean Pojagi. And so many colours!
Beautiful linen fabrics:
and the natural linen, whose point-ground yellow signs with black and red lettering point out for “fabrics for deceased”. The last shirt for funeral is made by this fabric.
And it went on, on another floor with tassels, trailers and so much more….
Such a simple way to fabricate tassels…..
He was lucky, he could take more fabrics than I did. The streets in this area are marked by countless motorciclyst who carry serval bolts of cloth – up to 150cm width – with their vehicles. The special technic of balancing, with mobile phone at the ear and cigarette in mouth is very sophisticated – unfortunately failed the battery of my camera at this time…
It was time for Incheon Airport! In the hall we opened once again one suitcase and stuffed all my purchases in it. I was hoping for a gracious balance at the check-in, without having to pay for excess baggage.
Time to say good-bye. “Tto man-na-yo” and a quiet tight embrace followed the promise to meet again. Be it in Steckborn, in France in September or again in South Korea. It will happen. Definitely.
It was an unforgettable time at BERNINA Korea and I thank all those who contributed to it with all my heart.
And at the samt time it was the awakening and beginning of the adventure BERNINA India. The night flight to Mumbai was imminent. Two and a half hour later I finally had passed the check-in and security screening and went to the gate.
“Tto man-na-yo” BERNINA Korea
“Namaste” BERNINA India