Recycled household scrap at Dalat coffee shop
VietNamNet Bridge – When people have something to throw away, I will come to their homes to pick it up and recycle it for my coffee shop. It now looks more like a scrap warehouse than a coffee shop,” says Thuy, the owner of Bi.cycle Up café at 82 Truong Cong Dinh Street in Dalat City.
A view of Bi.cyle Up coffee shop in Dalat City
In fact, Bi.cycle Up is a scrap warehouse but a unique one since it can be hardly found elsewhere.
At the coffee shop, those with living experiences in the 1970s and 1980s can find their way back to the past as there are a couple of old things long attached to their childhoods such as a coal-fired iron with the small statue of a chicken on its top, a television set with the display measuring just several inches, and a stainless steel water pot.
The coffee shop is a favorite place of many overseas Vietnamese families that return to Vietnam to visit relatives and friends. For them, Bi.cycle Up is like their old home where sweet memories of the past are all kept intact. All things from old sewing machines, tables and chairs to old books remind visitors of the past.
But the shop’s owner has another important purpose. She wants to raise public awareness of environmental protection by recycling scrap. “Furniture here is not ancient stuff and may not be valuable but somehow, they can bring some certain emotional value to visitors,” said Thuy.
Many people may find the coffee shop stuffy due to a large volume of furniture which almost fills up the place. But if you stay quiet for just a few seconds and take a glance at every corner around the shop, your eyes will have to stop at each item which used to be scrap but now has been recycled and become unique and lovable stuff.
Some people are captivated by a bathtub full of flowers and plants at the entrance, an 80-year-old wooden wardrobe in French style which has been transformed into a chair next to the piano, and a classroom in the basement which is like a wartime classroom hidden in a basement.
Tuong, Thuy’s husband, bought the iron bathtub from a scrap wholesaler, and then spent days cleaning, painting and renewing it into something foreign.
Thuy said the furniture displayed at the coffee shop is only a part of the property that she and her husband have collected over the past 10 years. Therefore, every six months, she will change the decoration of the shop so that all recycled stuff in her store can be displayed to give a fresh look to the café.
Put into service in late 2012, Bi.cycle Up is also a favorite place for young photography enthusiasts to practice their photo-taking skills, and for souls of art to come and share their mutual interests.