Over the last few months I’ve been biking by the flower market on a regular basis. Every time it was closed, and the flowers were moved to the third floor and to Lady Street next to the market. But at last, after a long wait, the Lai Tai flower market has reopened its doors. I ran inside to see what had happened and what has changed. My four year old put it this way: “We are not here to talk mommy, but to buy flowers.” Well said, my child.
The outside of the market has been decorated and promises great things for the inside, however I don’t see much change as I enter. Other than a newly decorated café and some new shops, things seem the same as we left them around Christmas. Looking more closely, I do see little improvements, like fresh painted walls and new toilets. All my favourite vendors are still here, selling products ranging from candles to baskets and furniture. It’s like nothing happened. Underneath in the picture is one of the new stores I found in the Flower Market; don’t be fooled, there are no craft supplies in here.
I ventured upstairs where they sell art and paintings. There are some very nice fake paintings. You can even get your family painted on canvas in a nice setting. With a bit of browsing I did find some paintings I would hang in my home. I feel safe walking around the art with my four year old, discussing what she thinks about it. She seems especially fond of the fake flowers; luckily we still have time to hone her taste. We are very excited that the flower market is open again and can’t wait to venture downstairs for some glassware, and haggle with the flower ladies for a potted plant or bouquet of roses.
Pauline van Hasselt has been working for beijingkids since October 2016. Born in Wassenaar, The Netherlands, she moved with her husband and her 3 year-old daughter to Beijing in June of last year. Prior she lived in the Netherlands, Belgium, Paraguay, Texas, and London, studying and working as a chef. Pauline enjoys biking around Beijing, finding markets and new restaurants, reading crime and fantasy books in bed, and most importantly, turning her house into a home for her family.
Pictures by Pauline van Hasselt