Chinese Underwear; the Ageing Sonny Crockett


I was hanging a bit of washing the other day when it struck me. What we’ve actually done is to bring the proverbial coals to Newcastle.

Two suitcases packed with labels proclaiming “made in China”. All now safely repatriated.

Speaking of washing. We’ve moved to a new flat in a new municipality plum in the middle of school holidays. A charming young chemistry student has been deputed to assist with all the red (particularly apt in China) tape and attend to our every whim but mother does her washing.

The machine here has a very small capacity in relation to the amount of dials, buttons and options all in Chinese. It’s the sort of machine western women like because they can pretend they are Boing 737 captains preparing for take-off.

I’ve got it working and done a few washes since arriving. The cycle is lengthy. I’ve given birth quicker. I have patience – now and then – but am a mite concerned our repatriated garments are not equal to the stress of spending 3 odd hours at a stretch in what’s tantamount to a hot butter churn. And the funny thing is that they are irreplaceable in this, their country of origin. Within China itself it is no easy task to track down inexpensive clothing to fit a man of 6ft 4 inches, nor a woman with a generous amount of middle-age spread.

I pass boutiques here which back home I would patronise to buy fresh fashion items for my granddaughter’s Barbie doll. My husband would have liked a summer jacket but not one with cuffs which end at about middle of his forearms. “Just roll ’em up” I said. He replied he didn’t want to go out on the streets looking like an ageing Sonny Crockett from “Miami Vice”.

As for bras. Don’t get me started. Well, alright then. I actually gave up hooks, straps, wires, satin and lace, and “push ’em ups” years ago in favour of sheer comfort. I arrived with one stretchy sports crop top thing from Target, Australia thinking I’d grab a few more over here at half the price. Mmmm…. I look at them on the racks of Walmart and know instinctively I’d have trouble getting them over my head let alone comfortably cossetting my “ample charms”.

Oh well, yet another necessity to get posted from Australia. It’ll only take about 8 weeks to arrive.

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