View Full Version : Tourist TAT Florence

06-11-2009, 04:29
Tourist Tat: Why do we buy it – well not me actually?

A salutary tale to the unwary – none of US surely but warn your friends.

Around noon standing near a British couple at one of the many hundreds of stalls in Florence selling leather goods, scarves etc. I overhead the following conversation: Mr Brit (holding a simple flap-fold shoulder bag) “How much?” Surly Asian stall holder says “Eighty”. “I’ll offer him seventy shall I darling” says Mr Brit. “Best hand-stitched Italian leather – 75 is my lowest” says stallholder. “Ok we’ll take it” says the chump.

I had the advantage over them of having seen the stalls being put out at 7am that morning when all the tat was unloaded out of cartons marked ‘Made in China’. A couple of days later in a smart small department store in Padova the same model bag with possibly better stitching was on sale for 23 Euro - no ‘haggling’ needed!

The moral of course is to enjoy the splendid buildings, the art and the atmosphere but don’t be looking for a bargain – they’ve seen you coming from a very long way off.


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06-11-2009, 06:36
[...] the tat was unloaded out of cartons marked ‘Made in China’. [...] – they’ve seen you coming from a very long way off.

Yes - about 5000 miles according to mapcrow (http://www.mapcrow.info/cgi-bin/cities_distance_airpt2.cgi?city3=-181150%2CF&city4=70564%2CB)!

Seriously though - have you noticed how difficult it is to get anything Not made in China? - clothing, electronics,shoes, household goods,pseudo-antiques, things made of metal?

Even brand names we trust to have a national identity like Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Berghaus, Karrimor have items (and not just the budget end of their ranges) made in China.

That's if you can identify where things are made - the manager in a EWM got very defensive when asked about the origin of some jumpers, some clothing that is obviously sold in several countries is only labelled "Made in" in the languages of countries where it is a legal requirement.

Then there is the disingenuous trick of "Designed in Great Britain" plastered across the front of the box and in the small print you find "Made in China" - Trevor Bayliss - are you listening ?

What this will do in the long run to the smaller companies across the world where there are traditional industries - Like the handmade leather in Italy, the Nottinghamshire stocking and sock makers, British electronics, metal workers remains to be seen - but I'm not hopeful ...

[I know this thread diversion belongs in General Chat - but I don't know how to move it over whilst still keeping the reference to Baggins' (http://www.wildcamping.co.uk/forums/members/baggins.html) original post.]

Mild Red