I wasn't born to shop
“What! Only three hours?” my Japanese students hollered in protest.
“Surely that’s enough time,” I replied. “Why on earth would you want to spend more time at the plaza?”
I hate shopping. The only thing I hate more is waiting around while others do their shopping.
I’ve never been the type of person to spend hours browsing through shops. I can’t imagine anything more uninspiring and monotonous. That’s why I don’t jeopardise my friendships by going shopping with others. Heck, I haven’t been shopping with my mum for years; we just don’t have the same taste in, well, anything.
I prefer the no nonsense in-and-out solo approach to retail outings: Know what you want. Buy it. Leave.
Thank goodness for online shopping - it conveniently allows me to eliminate unnecessary excursions and interactions with sales people.
I therefore only venture into a shopping precinct to get groceries, a haircut, shoes, clothes and the occasional piece of furniture.
How to kill time
“Shall we go for another stroll down the mall?”
“Yes, why not – it’ll fill in at least another 15 minutes!” I replied.
“That’ll leave us with just two more hours to kill.”
I shuffled reluctantly along Brisbane’s Queen St Mall for the third time with Kathy, a fellow group coordinator who shared my anti-shopping passion.
“Here’s a shop we haven’t looked at yet,” she said, expressing mock interest in the window display.
“Nah, I’ll just wait for you on that bench over there,” I said, sitting down to watch the London Olympics on the outdoor screen.
In hindsight, I should’ve brought a book to read. I still don’t understand why that didn’t occur to me; I’d known for weeks that we had a three-hour shopping expedition planned on that day’s itinerary.
“You know,” said Kathy, “we probably could’ve gone to see a movie!”
Instead, we wandered endlessly around the shopping mall after our leisurely lunch and coffee break, having waved goodbye to our 28 Japanese students who enthusiastically ran off to spend their tourist dollars. It was one of two full day excursions out of the classroom.
“I think it’s time for an ice cream,” I suggested, as the clock tower rang out the hour.
“Oh good, just 45 minutes to go!” said Kathy.
Not that we were counting.
“I hope they’re all back on time. I don’t want to be stuck in the afternoon peak hour traffic.”
“With any luck, they’ll all sleep on the bus heading home,” she said.
“And so will I!” It’s utterly exhausting spending three hours not shopping.
“You realise we’ve got another shopping spree next week,” said Kathy.
“Please - don’t remind me.”
“We’ll have to plan the next one more constructively.”
“Please meet back here by 4pm,” Kathy told our students five days later before we let them loose again at the local plaza.
They erupted into cheers of joy as they realised they had FOUR hours of shopping frenzy ahead of them.
“You’d think they’ve never been shopping before!”
“If it was up to me, I’d give them an hour so we can all go home early.”
“Right,” I said after the students ran into the shopping centre. “First, we’ll get lunch. Then, we’ll relocate to that coffee shop over there – they make the best coffees. After that, we can go to Kmart, print those photos and buy some frames. Then...”
We were more organised this time and had, in fact, a shopping list of our own - but that didn’t diminish our mutual dislike of retail therapy. At that time of the afternoon, I prefer some siesta therapy.
“Hey, that gelato looks delicious,” I said a few hours later. “C’mon we deserve another one.”
Are you a shopaholic or a minimalist shopper like me?
It always ends in tears
One simple tip for world peace
Image: Free Digital Photos
22/8/2012 11:22:34 pm
Know what you want. Buy. Leave. I can't improve on that. I have 15 minutes to spare on Friday. Wanna come to the Plaza?
23/8/2012 02:25:12 am
Peter, I wouldn't want to risk our friendship over a shopping infringement! Let's stick to coffee and lunch dates instead.
23/8/2012 12:34:58 am
I like to make a few comarisons before I buy clothes, but I'm not a real shopaholic.
23/8/2012 02:26:21 am
Great shopping plan, Jenny. I'm with Brian on this one, though!
23/8/2012 09:52:01 am
Hari ....I am definately a reformed shopaholic, who loves gelati XX
23/8/2012 12:48:23 pm
Good to hear you've overcome that habit, Rosie, and taken on something more worthwhile, like an appreciation of gelato!
23/8/2012 12:52:03 pm
Seems I'm in the same boat Hari, I have to psych myself up for a couple of weeks to shop for clothes. I find the noise, lights, crowds and screaming kids overwhelming.
24/8/2012 01:58:16 pm
Therese, I once made the silly mistake of going to the plaza during school holidays to catch a movie... there was a long queue of people outside the building, so I turned around and went back home again!
23/8/2012 02:17:45 pm
"Bloody hell" my husband would say that if I ask him to come to shopping with me. So I usually go by myself except grocery shopping.
24/8/2012 02:00:09 pm
Tomiko, Kathy and I still have a good laugh about it - fortunately, we entertained each other during both shopping trips. If I'd been on my own, I definitely would've taken a book with me!
24/8/2012 05:00:15 pm
I took two Japanese girls to the Sunshine Plaza as our coordinator had said that they like to go shopping. I gave them 2 hours while I had lunch then did some Christmas shopping for the grandchildren .They were back on time and had bought very little as they said everything was expensive . They preferred Eumundi markets which they did as a school excursion
26/8/2012 09:36:48 am
Coral, while most of our group splurged and bought up Tim Tams and souvenirs, others bought very little. Unlike your girls' excursion to Eumundi markets, our itinerary didn't include that option.
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I acknowledge the traditional Custodians of the land on which I work and live, the Gubbi Gubbi / Kabi Kabi and Joondoburri people, and recognise their continuing connection to land, the waters and sky. I pay my respect to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.