What’s Going On Behind The Umbrella?

Have you ever noticed one of these Thai street sewing services around Bangkok? To the Thai people, they could be immune to the ‘wonder’ of the service. To the tourists, they might like the shopping and the food in the Kingdom. To me, I like it that people are making a living, the HONEST way.

“They work hard for their money. So hard for it, honey. They work hard for the money. So you better treat them right.” 

As with any human beings, sometimes they do have their flaws: competency, skill mismatch, etc, etc. Their role could even be redundant: such as one of those security guards who check-but-not-really-checking bags at the MRT and BTS stations in Bangkok. But hey .. at least these people work for their wages, and not out there stealing or robbing people. And for that, I applaud them.

Aunty doing her thing
Aunty doing her thing

As someone without any sewing skills … zilch, zero, zippo, nil, nada, I rely on this Aunty Seamstress for simple sewing repair in Bangkok. This elderly aunty plies her trade almost everyday, sewing by curb-side in my neighborhood. A simple sewing job costs around 20 baht. I have paid 50 baht or so for something more elaborate.

I usually just leave behind our clothes for repair, and come back to collect later. But one fine morning around 10am, I was her first customer for a simple repair job. Aunty told me that it won’t take long; I sat there watching Aunty Seamstress at work for 5 minutes or so.

Umbrella sheltering her
Umbrella sheltering aunty from the sun

She relies on a humble umbrella, sheltering her from the morning sun glare, yet using a lamp for her to be able to see better.

Pooh soft toy as needle cushion
Pooh soft toy as pin cushion

Who says you need a pin cushion to store needles? Aunty uses soft toy as her pin cushion!

Her tools
Her tools

And here are some of her other tools.

Thank you, YOU
Thank you, YOU

Thank you, Aunty, for all your works.


Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.