Friday, August 10, 2012

Shopping Scars

The new India is a strange phenomenon!  Dear readers, as a newly returned Indian, I have a different lens with which I view things and boy! o boy!, have things changed!!  This change demands new coping techniques.

On the one hand, there is a surge in personal disposable income among the middle class and there is evidence of that in the malls, eating joints and upscale events.  On the other hand, we are still a crude, rude bunch of people.  There is a local mart that I frequent for my daily groceries.  It is the closest to the Wal-Marts, Meijers we are used to and I enjoy the luxury of browsing for my goods before buying them.  However, that is where the resemblance ends.  At the entrance, you feel like you are going through security clearance at the airport as your bags are checked, and locked tight with zip-ties.  Yes, you heard me,  you cannot access your bag until you get to the checkout counter where the zip-ties are cut by the clerk, so you can pay for the goods you bought. 

Once inside, there is no luxury of casually strolling through the aisles, reading the tags, and taking your time at it.  The impatient shoppers behind you will think nothing of butting you in the rearend to give you a subtle hint that you are in their way.  And God help you if you ever go on a weekend or holiday.  There is danger of getting serious injuries by rushing carts, falling goods and angry shoppers just waiting for a good fight.  It is a Black Friday every weekend!

Another unique aspect which is so totally Indian is the fact that there are at least 2 shopping assistants for every customer.  I know what you are thinking.  That would be wonderful to get the help you need, right?  Wrong.  If you ask them somehting, the likelihood of them actually helping you is slim to none.  Most of them don't know where things are stocked or they are too busy being angry at their boss to really help you.

Now, dear reader, I am sure you are thinking that this is a rant.  But it is all about coping.  Here are some of techniques that I am developing to survive in this new India.

I take a small purse that fits in my pocket, so I don't have to go through the security check or have my purse tied.  I pick mornings on weekdays to shop and thus avoid the long and angry shoppers line.  I have even managed to get a reluctant smile from the cashier by flashing a bright and cheery smile and actually making small talk. 
And finally for the butt rammers, I am working on getting this T-shirt in adult size.  Do you think it is too subtle??

So long, folks.  Got to work on some other coping methods that I will surely write to you about.

If you have other sugggestions, leave a comment.


  1. That's really weird. I have never come across a store that ties your bag. I suggest you have a small chat with the manager and tell him that your medication (let him think you have asthma) should be accessible else he can be sued. I bet the practice will be discontinued before you can act on your T-shirt....

  2. i cant wait to c u in tht t-shirt suni :D