As we walked along the roadside in Kota Kinabalu, we came across a sewing market — a row of roadside sewing machines with MEN threading needles and stitching fabric, diligently at work on their morning projects. I suppose we could have had a skirt shortened or some pants hemmed right then and there if we had needed to (and we SO needed these guys when our backpack was mangled by a wild boar. But I’ll get to that later…).

What caught my eye was not only that it was men manning the needles, but that the sewing machines were quite old and beautiful. It took me back to my childhood when my mom used to sew curtains and pillowcases on a Singer sewing machine that unfolded out of a tabletop just like the red one in the photo. And the bobbins! Like candies in their trays, with all the colors of a rainbow.

No doubt there is a collector somewhere in the world searching for this long lost treasure and I know just where to find it.


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