Monday, May 11, 2009

Let's Go Shopping

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Or not. A couple of weeks ago, some aunts of mine were visiting from overseas, so one of the first things we decided to do for them was take them shopping. However, when you're in Manila, there are only two places to take a foreigner at times like these. These two places would be Greenhills' tiangges and 168's location of pure consumerism.

Given that they were new (somewhat) to the scene, we decided to go the safe route and bring them to Greenhills.

This is Greenhills on a good day.

So there we were, looking down the tight aisles that made up the front corridor of Shopesville's interior arcade. There were three things immediately available to the naked eye at a glance: knock-off watches, bags and Crocs. But you wouldn't believe the variety. The various kinds of Crocs you can find in two separate stands alone numbered in the hundreds.

My aunt whispered that this was insane. This was, for us guys, comforting - we looked forward to a shopping spree that wouldn't last an entire afternoon and a half. First of all, my mom was with them and her stamina isn't exactly what you'll call awesome. Secondly, my aunt said that she wasn't anywhere near phenomenal when it comes to shopping. She gave us an hour, tops.

Two hours later, we were only halfway down the aisle. At the far end of the corridor was the exit, and the gateway to dinner, but it was another thirty minutes before we could even begin to consider stepping outside (my uncle was lucky - he had to step out for a smoke).

Funny how just some days ago, I came across this curious little article about shopping. The author did a good job stating a caveat about how the entire article is based on research, but I'd like to add that it takes very little mental processing to come up with those points.

Let's see. Whenever I go out to buy something, all it takes is a little bit of advanced research on my part (what to buy, where to buy, how much). Next step is going there to buy it. Whereas my sisters can end up scouring the entire mall without any idea of what to get, and end up with armloads of stuff.

My apartment in Cagayan de Oro was testament to this. I had a makeshift bed, a desk, and a fan before she arrived. When she left, I had a bench, a table, mops, a shower curtain, a shower curtain rod, and my flat's floor had brand-spanking new vinyl tiles.

Sometimes, the purchasing power isn't even the issue here - it's more of the purchasing drive.

So do women go into shopping with a tabula rasa mindset, and just let their senses decide which items to get? And are men really that impatient to simplify the act of buying things to a two-step process?

God only knows. But there are some exceptions to the rule. My cousin is one of them - we brought him to Serendra to look for swim trunks and shoes, and it was hours before he could even decide that the stores in the area didn't have what he was looking for. I know of some women who can't stand shopping for long periods of time (the fact that I can't state a clear example now is not an indication of lying on my part).

All I know is, the next time a woman tells me that it'll take her an hour to finish shopping, I'll do the smart thing and head over to the gadgets department to do a little window shopping of my own for about thirty minutes. That, or find a bench.


  1. Is it bad that I'm a girl and yet I know how you feel?

    I do some shopping, sure. An hour or two at an outlet mall if they have good deals. What I can't stand is my sister and her husband, who take the entire day just trying to decide whether or not they're going to buy this one shirt they both like but is a dollar too expensive for them.

    Yes, $1. P50.

    I do not exaggerate.

  2. shopping's fun so long as you're behind the wheel. :D