With the exception of supermarket shopping, any other shopping is rather like entering a film set here. You are sucked into whatever conversation is going on at the time between however many people and like waiting for your cue, you have to guage exactly the right moment to mention what you want otherwise your line is lost forever. When you do get it right, this may or may not be acknowledged depending on the continued level of interest that the shop assistant has in the other customers' conversations. This, combined with a relay system for payment - you choose, you wait for a hand written receipt, you leave your goods on the counter, you walk to the cash desk with both copies of the receipt, someone queue barges, you pay, you get them stamped, you return to your original counter, you show your stamped receipt, you pick up your goods, return to the first counter for the obligatory black plastic
bag, another quick conversation, you leave. There's just no nipping in and out here.
Buying material is definitely not quick, so much so, during the process Andy often nips out to buy us a drink.
Can I have some of this for school uniform please?
I don't know - maybe 2 skirts and 5 shorts?
You don't need that many.
Well, please can I have them just in case?
Ok, you can have 2 skirts and 3 shorts.
My son is quite a boy, I would really like 5 shorts.
Umm, do you really want 4 yards then?
Are you sure, it's $25 a yard.
Well, why not get enough for 3 skirts and 3 shorts then?
No, I really would like 3 skirts and 5 shorts.
Ok. Tell her that's not for wedding dresses.
Her, there - she can't wear that. She needs to spend time and choose properly.
Err, umm, ok.
Ridiculous, that's not suitable for a wedding. Oh well, her choice.
Umm, ok, please can I take my school uniform material now?
A wedding, what will she look like? Silver sparkles, huh.
Umm, well, thanks a lot, see you later.
My heart sank yesterday, when we went through the whole process again with Chloe, choosing the material for her bedroom curtains. No, that's not curtain material it began. After half an hour, we left with non curtain material and a shaking head - 'well, if that's what she wants'. Chloe took the flak well and stuck firmly to her guns - good on her - I stood right behind her.....