I like to buy vintage stuff. Sometimes you get really good quality stuff - stuff that was made years ago, decades even, and see look damn good and even brand new - and cheap!
Here in Melbourne - you can find plenty of vintage and retro shops and garage sales. Some of it run privately, others run by the Salvation Army, St. Vincents (Vinnies), etc..
I find it pleasant to browse through the shops - most of it is junk - and see what to buy.
Ideally you should have a clear idea in your head about - QUALITY. This takes awhile - plenty of self-education to acquire. And of course if you are a specific collector - a clear idea of what you want to get. Otherwise you could be wasting a lot of money and time.
For Quality - I try and watch vintage shows like Antiques Roadshow (BBC) to get an education on what is good. BBC had a good documentary on Chinese Porcelain which is having quite a meteoric rise since China's economy boomed. The old Chinese porcelain are selling for millions of dollars. I've heard a few stories of people buying what looked like an ordinary plate or Vase in a car boot sale for a few dollars which later auctioned for extraordinary sums of money.
And sometimes at this vintage markets you get to meet attractive looking girls. I met one today at Melbourne Vintage in Brunswick - Attractive looking girl. She was about my height. Very fair porcelain skin. Chinese - and from the way I heard her talk - an educated girl from Singapore or Malaysia.
Our eyes met. I smiled - she walked off not noticing it seems. A few minutes later, as she walked near my aisle, I made a passing remark about her vintage clothes shopping and she smiled and said something cordial and walked away.
I browsed through the vintage clothes thinking about what to ask her. I would like to blame the Summer heat. The acrid smell of a burnt fuse in that warehouse. Blank. But to be honest, I'm not a great talker. I'm naturally a shy person. Not outward going. And I prefer to be browsing through the library than hanging out at the playground. If I'm in the mood and hitting my stride, I can be all sunshine. Right now I'm more cloudy and grey - grey not gray.
Anyhow I worked up enough courage to try and hit on her again. I walked up, smiled - she gave a very warm nice smile back. Woohoo!!! I asked about her shopping - she showed off what she got. Vintage clothes. A blue dress that suited her skin color.
And then.... I jumped the gun and asked what she was doing later. Her face changed and she looked hesitant and said she was with her girlfriend. I asked whether she and her friend wanted coffee - and she replied with an annoyed tone - "We already had coffee thanks."
Exit stage left.
Fuck. Gosh I'm a dick. What I really should have asked were:
Let's see what you bought? Oh that looks cool - does that fit you? Let's see it. What else do you like to shop for? Do you often come vintage shopping. What is your name? Where are you from? Are you from Singapore? Oh which part etc.. Friendly casual banter.
ANYTHING BUT - wanna have coffee? Good grief. What was I thinking?
To be honest - just the thrill of talking to a hot chick stranger makes my brain sometimes go to mush. I need to be cooler and approach people I like a little less "in awe". Hmmm....
I think that why sometimes cocky arseholes are very effective in talking to beautiful strangers. Their arrogance+ boldness + FU approach make a positive disarming impression at the start.
In the end, I didn't buy any clothes- some of the waistcoats that I wanted had stains or had small tears. Besides I already owned similar ones - in better condition - already.
I bought a vintage plate for a $1 - it matches one of my current collection. It came home with me - the girl, unfortunately, did not.