Due to surprise content, this post was postponed, aka the quest for my boyfriend’s Christmas/birthday present.
I first stumbled on the video on Facebook. One of my friends had liked it. It was of a man who made bamboo saxophones. I knew someone who would like a handmade bamboo saxophone very much.Here’s the video
I researched on google and found an article about the artist who makes them.
I googled some more and found links to the article and original video.
I scoured the weekend market in Bangkok (largest weekend market in the world).
I flew to Chiang Mai and scoured the markets there (found something same same but different, I left it there as it was not what I was seeking).
My searches were turning up nothing. I searched for months. My searching came full circle where I found a small Facebook page with an email address.
Excitedly I sent my email: I am seeking a soprano saxophone. What is your address? And waited.
The response included a picture of a business card with an address.
I met the artist in his shop, he’s an optometrist and the saxophones are a side hobby. I actually walked right past his shop because the only notice he had was a bamboo saxophone propped in the corner amongst the eyeglasses in his front window.
The saxophones were beautiful. He said it takes him about a month to make four of them. They were a little pricier than I had anticipated but still very reasonable for a functioning piece of art. I ended up buying a tenor saxophone because it was more in my price range and he had burned the letter G into the horn because it was tuned in G and my boyfriend’s last name starts with G. It all worked out in the end.
Then came the issue of getting the saxophone home without crushing it. It became my personal item I carried from my school in Pattaya to my home in the suburbs of Chicago for my boyfriend’s Christmas/birthday present.
It almost didn’t make the trip.
I was stopped Abu Dhabi going through US customs, right before the last stretch home. The guard sent it through the X-ray machine. They made me open the case and I had to explain it was a musical instrument.
They sent it through the X-ray machine again and pulled it aside.
I asked if I could take it with me and the guard said no they had to confiscate it.
My heart stopped and I froze in panic. I HAD to get the bamboo saxophone home.
The guard laughed and told me he was just joking. They brought over a machine and dusted it (probably looking for insects in the wood but part of the creation process is grilling the wood so it hardens and kills the insects).
I had to restart my heart and carried it successfully all the way home.
Note: I arrived home in July and kept the bamboo saxophone a secret until Christmas. My boyfriend loved it!