Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Festive shopping scene

On sale Posted by Hello

The festive time of year (pick any) often means sales all over and with it the dangers of the crowded malls and streets packed with people from all over the suburbs coming into town to shop. This can be one of the most dangerous times for shoppers as the amount of people concentrated on the roads, malls and shops are quadrupled (with the exception of Kl where by the festivities time would turn into a ghost town as people balik kampung). Walking along the shopping malls I noticed that the people within can be categorized into several groups:

The out of towners
This group of people is mostly from the suburbs or as we like to put it, pedalaman. Most of the year they would never even be seen near the major towns, residing in their kampungs or hamlets, content with things. But come festive season, the whole household as well as their extended families would suddenly develop the urge to pack themselves in vans and cars and head to the nearest towns. They’re easily recognizable, gawking at the sights, taking family photos in the shopping malls and looking all awestruck. These are mostly in large numbers, handling several children who are insistent of going in every different direction possible and consists of several generations of family members. By the end of the day they would’ve bought enough purchases to last the year and soon pack up and head back to their original stead.

The festive sales watchers
Mostly teenagers or young adults would be categorized in this category. Once the word sale hits their ears or even ‘jualan murah’, you’ll see them scampering into the malls to go on a bargain hunt. Single mindedly focus on getting the cheapest bargains and nothing else. Ruthless and unmerciful, they’ll rip anyone to shreds who stand in their way of purchases. Sales are a particular lure to these people like a moth heading towards the light. Seen often in shops like Vinci, Nike and British India.

The ever waiting husbands
Seen standing by the corners or waiting patiently by the walls. Bored expressions would line their face as they await the return of their wives who has gone a shopping. At times spotted with earlier purchases by the wife. Ever hopeful but aware that this is not so, they wish for their wives a speedy return and not too loaded on purchases. Mostly unwilling followers or at best share little interest in shopping.

The couples
Seen stuck to each other constantly with hands held tight. Never seem to leave each other’s company or sight. Activities would entail shopping for items like clothes, music and accessories but may also head for other leisurely pursuits such as a movie or bowling. Always prove an obstacle for any other passersby to overtake as they’ll walk side by side even in the narrowest lanes. Most frustrating when entrenched on the escalator and disallow cutting of way for others.

The minders
A parent, usually the mum struggling with multiple kids of varying age. All hell can break loose as the entourage literally scramble all over the place, bawling for toys, picking up interesting items, threatening to cause major breakage of fragile items, getting lost in a crowded mall and tugging at the mum’s skirt. Best stay away as far as possible to avoid hazard. Another variety would be the foreign maid that follows behind wielding the kid or pushing a pram and lugging around baby items.

Hunting pack
College freshies, girl’s day out, school mates, holidaymakers and buddy groups are some of those listed here. Often a large pack of people, may be of a single sex but can also be formed of a mix group but generally of the same age bracket. They move as if in a swarm, hovering from one shop to the next and scrutinizing the wares before moving on. Often all out to just having fun and looking for bargains.

Small group of people, often have no purpose in life other than to loiter in the malls and will away the time. No constructive purpose other than to stand at one spot for the whole day and scrutinize the passersby and talking trash. Resemblance might take on appearance ala Rock or punk but at times include ‘normal’ teenagers. Buayas included as those who sit and observe all the pretty ladies moving about in the malls.

The professionals
Stylishly dressed in suits and formal wear, doesn’t waste time in mindlessly browsing through the stalls but has a specific aim and place to go and get what he/she needs. Working on a schedule and with a serious look on their face. Might also be there just to meet up with clients for lunch and no intention of shopping. Others could just be there to grab a bite to eat or out on a break before heading back to work.

The tourists
Busses parked outside the malls, sporting travel agencies name are the main mode of transport for this group. Often led by a tour guide, wearing travel gear, camera ready at hand, speaking a foreign language and moving as one big group. Often spotted at the video shops lugging tons of pirated DVDs and VCDs back to their home country.

Window shoppers
Just browsing, unlike other lugging back bags of goodies, these will go from shop to shop, trying on every single item, criticize, comment and evaluate and leave empty handed to the consternation of the sales promoter that spent the last half hour assisting them.

Baru dapat gaji/bonus people
Out spending like there’s no tomorrow usually with the whole family. With the sudden windfall (durian runtuh) given out for the festive season, there’s no stopping them from buying gifts for relatives or to indulge in a little self treatment like the latest electronics or the wife buying the new Raya dress she was eyeing weeks ago.

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