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Archive for 'shopping'

Shopping in the Market

20070821232838_batering in zim

This photo was taken back in 1997, I think, and this is my younger self attempting to buy avocadoes in a village market somewhere in Zimbabwe. The avocadoes were really good, and I still remember how tasty they were. I have a determined look on my face as I attempt to bargain, but they were cheap. I remember that too. I enjoy bargaining, but it is always a relief to return home and look at the prices in our shops.

Do you like bargaining for goods? Or do you prefer your purchases to be marked with the price?

PS – this photo was scanned, hence the black area around the outside.

Five Great Reasons to Visit Singapore

Singapore is a small island country with a big heart and presence. Around 45 km west to east and 25 km from north to south, the population is densely packed. I’ve visited Singapore three times now, usually on the way to another final destination since Singapore is around ten hours flight from New Zealand and makes a great stopover.

But those people who don’t spend time in Singapore are short-changing themselves because it’s a great holiday destination in its own right.

Five Reasons to Visit Singapore

1. It’s a safe, clean and friendly place to visit. Definitely easy to get around on your own.

2. The food is delicious! Dine on Chinese, Indian, Malay or stick to something more familiar. Dining out is a treat for the taste buds.

3. Retail therapy. No matter what you want to buy you’ll find goods ranging from designer to bargains in the older market areas.

4. The international airport – Changi Airport is one of the nicest and most interesting airports to visit. Save some shopping time for the airport too.

5. A wide range of attractions to visit and things to do for all age groups. Ride on the Singapore Flyer. Visit the renowned Singapore zoo or Jurong Bird Park. Have a Singapore sling at Raffles Hotel. Take a walking tour around the old parts of the city or laze away the day on Sentosa Island. The choice is endless.

View from Singapore Flyer

View of the City from the top of the Singapore Flyer

Tai Chi Botanic Gardens

Morning Tai Chi at the botanical gardens

Singapore River

Singapore River, lined with restaurants and pubs

Mosque and Market

Sultan Mosque and surrounding market stalls

Singapore really is an exciting and vibrant place to visit, and I’m looking forward to the next time we can fit it into our travel itinerary.

Have you or would you like to visit Singapore? Does it appeal to you as a destination?

Shopping at the Grand Bazaar

These boots caught my eye during a wander through the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. I think they’d be perfect for winter. Pretty and comfortable.

Istanbul Bazaar

What do you think? Would they work with your wardrobe?

Shop Until You Drop!

For some people shopping is a sport. Others, like me, don’t find the past time as much fun. Battling with crowds—forget about it! There’s a few exceptions to my dislike of shopping. I can shop for books for hours, and I enjoy exploring markets, especially when they’re involved with travel.

I thought I’d share a few market photos with you today.

Zimbabwe - Bartering for Avocados

It’s always fun bartering for goods. This is me bartering for avocados for lunch.

 

India - Cochin

A vegetable stall in Cochin, India. People are always so friendly.

 

India - Jeypur

Stalls selling fabric, also in India

 

India - Mysore

Some stalls are colorful and full of mysterious things, India.

 

Nukualofa, Tonga

You can buy fans in Tonga.

 

Pakistan - Quetta

Or fabric from a tailor in Pakistan.

 

Do you like shopping? What is your favorite thing to shop for?

Thirteen Ways to Limit Excessive Shopping & Spending

Thursday Thirteen

My sister works in a shopping center. Last weekend it rained and she said the mall was absolutely chocka with shoppers. Evidently when people are bored or at a loss for an activity, they shop! Who knew? That inspired my post for today.

Thirteen Ways to Limit Shopping & Spending

1. Make a list and shop only once a week.

2. Plan menus and only shop for things that relate to your menus.

3. Share information about family spending with your children and this will make them more aware of how much things cost. This should also focus them on needs versus wants.

4. Have regular no-car days. This not only saves money spent on fuel, but you’re less likely to go shopping if you have to walk or take public transport.

5. Buy second-hand where possible.

6. Make a note of what you’re spending. If you write things down you have a better awareness.

7. If you’re likely to go shopping during your lunch hours change your behavior. Go for a walk instead.

8. Sell stuff you don’t use such as clothes, toys, books etc

9. Instead of purchasing gifts, give time. Grandmother would probaly love a strong back to do her gardening or wash her car.

10. Pay by cash rather than a credit card and set a budget for the amount of cash you draw out of your bank each week.

11. Make your own or grow your own wherever possible.

12. Socialize at home rather than going out all the time.

13. Draw a line between needs and wants. Have a family meeting and get the children to do the same thing. Ask yourself – do I really need this?

Do you have any tips to add? How often do you shop?

Shopping Success and Foster Dogs

I went shopping yesterday, on the hunt for a nice summery dress. Success. This is the one I purchased and I’m really pleased with it. Now if only the weather would cooperate so I could start wearing it.

Photobucket

When we applied to foster dogs for the SPCA we thought we’d have dogs quite often. We had Patch for five weeks and haven’t had another dog since. I rang to ask about the frequency but evidently the fosters aren’t available all the time. Color me disappointed when I arrived home after picking up my husband from golf to find a message on our answer phone. I rang back straight away, but they’d found an alternative foster for Mikey meantime. Cross your fingers that a foster comes up soon. I’m really missing a dog around the place and, unfortunately, we can’t adopt one at present since it’s possible my husband will be transferred to the other end of the country.

And finally, I was very excited to wake up to find The Spurned Viscountess had made the Top Five list at Carina Press. By the time you check out the list I’ll probably have disappeared, but I thought it was exciting. :grin:

Shopping and Separation Anxiety with Jenyfer Matthews

My special guest today is author Jenyfer Matthews. She’s talking about a very special challenge she’s facing this week as well as her new release, Separation Anxiety.

You know how it is, you go on vacation and you buy things. Maybe you’re even going to a place where you expect to shop so you travel light going.

Now imagine that you live in a country that not only doesn’t have good malls or decent mail service, but where you can’t even find quality socks when you need them. That’s me, in Egypt.

I’m an American who has lived abroad for eleven years (where does time go??). It wasn’t so bad when I lived in the United Arab Emirates – Dubai hosts an annual Shopping Festival, after all. But even there, in the land of shopping malls, there were still things you couldn’t find easily, like good socks or books (gasp).

Every summer I come back to America with light suitcases and a long shopping list. I’ve got it nearly down to a science now. Each child has their own ticket and we’re allowed two checked suitcases apiece, each weighing 50lbs. I’ve gotten very good at packing things – for instance, I pack all the heaviest items in the smallest suitcase, on the theory that it won’t go overweight because it will be full before I get too much in there anyway. In all my years of bringing back a year’s supply of miscellaneous stuff for a family of four, I’ve only once had to pay an overweight charge. Not bad on average, all in all.

This year, however, I’m worried.

I not only have several large but light, bulky items, but I also have a couple of very heavy things including a Separation Anxietymuch-larger-than-I-expected jewelry chest and a lidded cast iron soup pot that once belonged to my grandmother. Unique challenges to my packing skills to say the least. I travel back to Egypt on Sunday so I’ll have to get back to you on how it all goes.

I’ve traveled a lot in the last decade so I suppose it’s no surprise that I would write a book where the heroine starts traveling after a major life crisis. I have to admit that I when I wrote SEPARATION ANXIETY I was indulging in a major fantasy exercise because not only wasn’t my character dragging two small children in her wake, she shopped as she liked and simply shipped her excess and unneeded items home ahead of her. Bliss.

I’m happy to say that SEPARATION ANXIETY is available in multiple digital formats from Smashwords.com as well as other major ebookstores, including Sony and Apple. SEPARATION ANXIETY is also available in paperback from Amazon.com.

BLURB

Sometimes running away is the first step toward finding yourself.

Aurora has spent her entire married life transforming herself from a regular, middle class girl into the perfect society wife. Life seems perfect until she is unceremoniously dumped by her philandering cliche’ of a husband just before Christmas – and their tenth wedding anniversary. Devastated and unable to face the social ostracism or the holiday parties, Aurora and her best friend Kat plan a trip to Amsterdam for a weekend…then decide to keep going. Aurora attempts to drown her sorrows with wine in Amsterdam and Frankfurt, finds her anger in Athens and Cairo, and reclaims her sexuality in Dubai. By the time she and Kat reach Bangkok at the New Year, Aurora is ready and eager to move on with her life.

Planned as a way to escape her pain, Aurora’s travels instead become a journey to a new sense of self and a whole new world – post-divorce.

EXCERPT

I am standing in the kitchen debating on whether or not baking some gingerbread would be overkill when I hear a car door outside.

My stomach flips and I run to the window to peek outside. It’s Bryce.

I press my hand to my stomach and try to slow my breathing. Hyperventilation and hysteria is hardly the alluring look I’m going for.

I go back to the kitchen, check my lipstick in my reflection on the window, and finger comb my hair. I whirl around and try to appear casual when I hear Bryce’s key in the door.

“Aurora?” Bryce says as he lets himself in.

“Good morning, Bryce,” I say, walking toward him and giving him a big smile. “Good to see you.”

He looks at me with some suspicion as he stands uncertainly in the foyer.

He’s not as impeccably presented as usual. His shirt is wrinkled and he doesn’t look as if he’s slept much. He certainly doesn’t look like a man who is happy with the decision he’s just made. I can feel my hopes rising just looking at him. This might be easier than I expected.

“Don’t just stand there,” I say, “This is your home, come in. I made some coffee. Sit down and have a cup. Can I get you some breakfast?”

“Thanks, but no,” he says, putting his hands in his pockets. “I really don’t have much time. I have an early appointment this morning. I’ll just go up and get my things.”

My smile fades. He’s deviating from my mental script of how this will go. He’s supposed to sit down, have breakfast and snap out of whatever spell Audrey has him under. “What? Just like that? Can’t we even talk about this? About us?”

I hear him sigh. “We already talked last night. What more is there to say?”

“We didn’t talk last night!” I take a deep breath and try to regain my composure. Bryce doesn’t like scenes so screeching at him will hardly win him over or gain his ear. I start again. “We didn’t talk. You made an announcement. I’d like a chance to discuss things with you. Privately.”

“I don’t really have much more to add, Aurora. I’m in love with Audrey and it doesn’t seem…kind to draw this out any more than we have to. I think it’s best to make a clean break.”

“So that’s it? After ten years together? How is it ‘kind’ to just walk out on me with no warning? Aren’t we at least supposed to try counseling?” I ask him as I follow him up the stairs to our bedroom.

Bryce is pulling suitcases from the back of our walk-in closet. “I don’t want to go to counseling.” He pauses to look at me. “I’m sorry.”

I stand there, stunned. He’s not repentant or regretful. He hasn’t realized his mistake. He’s merely uncomfortable with the situation. With me.

How has this happened? Yesterday things were normal. I was buying him an anniversary present. How can he be leaving me today?

He turns and begins to put things in the open suitcases. Shirts, pants, suit jackets, ties. I cross my arms and watch him silently. He picks up a small satchel and turns to cross to the bathroom. He squeezes my arm as he passes me. He is still my husband but already his touch seems foreign.

I can hear him opening drawers and dropping items into the bag. When he comes back out I want to catch his eye — to make him look at me! — but he’s looking down.

“You can’t leave without at least talking to me,” I try again. “You owe me that much at least.”

“I can’t see how talking about this will be helpful to you,” Bryce says, opening a dresser drawer and tossing socks and underwear into his suitcases. “I don’t have much time and endless discussion will only serve to hurt you more.”

“Oh my god — is she outside?” I ask. “Is she waiting for you in the car?” I run to the window to look out, trying to see into his car.

“No. I wouldn’t do that,” Bryce says. “I wouldn’t bring her here. This is hard enough as it is. On all of us.”

I can’t help but wonder whose feelings he is trying to spare because it certainly doesn’t seem to be mine.

It’s getting hard to maintain my composure when things are spinning so far out of my control. But this doesn’t make any sense to me. The situation does not compute. I have to have better answers than he’s giving me.

“What…” My voice breaks. I clear my throat and try again. “What did I do wrong? What do I need to do to fix this?”

Bryce sighs again. He stops packing for a moment and puts his hands on his hips. Finally he looks up at me.

“You haven’t done anything wrong,” he says. “Things just…happened. I’ve changed. I want different things. Neither of us is getting any younger and life is too short not to take happiness where you can find it. None of this was your fault. It’s not you, Aurora, it’s me.”

When I don’t answer him, he turns and starts packing again.

I can’t believe it. It’s been a while since I’ve heard it, but I’m pretty sure my husband of a decade just dumped me with a string of clichés and the old it’s-not-you-it’s-me line.

CONTEST – Jenyfer is giving away a PDF download of Separation Anxiety to one lucky reader. All you need to do to enter the draw is comment on this post or ask Jenyfer a question.

All Roads Lead to Walmart

There were almost 2000 passengers on our cruise ship with most of them coming from Australia. A few days before the ship reached Hawaii, we all started to talk about the excursions we wanted to do while stopping at our four Hawaiian ports.

The number of passengers who said they were going to Walmart astounded me. I mean Hawaii is a beautiful place—one of my favorite island destinations—with so many interesting things to see. Volcanoes. Sea horses. Snorkeling. Whales. Turtles. Gardens. Waterfalls. And the list goes on.

We arrived at Kona (our first stop) and, to my surprise, there was a special bus that transferred people from the ship to the nearest Walmart. Passengers returned to the ship loaded with Walmart shopping bags. Really, in some instances I thought the shopping bags were walking by themselves because I couldn’t see the person carrying them!!

Our next stop was Hilo and the word had spread about the bargains available. Everyone was desperate to visit Walmart, even the crew who wanted to stock up on toiletries and small items etc. It became a sort of a joke on the ship. Have you visited Walmart yet? ( In our defense—we don’t have a shop quite like Walmart in Australia or New Zealand.)

And if you’re wondering, did I visit Walmart? Why yes, I did. Just briefly to get something for my cold and sore throat (to combat the buggy thing I picked up on the ship) and to check out the Sony ereaders. I didn’t stay for long though, since there was a Borders nearby. I left my husband and friends to their wandering in favor of checking out the latest romance releases.

Do you shop at Walmart? And, out of curiosity, what do you tend to purchase there?

Retail Therapy

Happy New Year!

Last week I told Mr. Munro I would like to go shopping on New Year’s day. I backed up the suggestion with additional information, saying the sales were on and I thought it would be quiet.

“Okay,” Mr. Munro said.

“I want to buy some summer clothes. A skirt or something.” I watched him closely, and to his credit, he barely flinched.

This morning he brought me a cup of tea in bed. That was about eight o’clock. Not long after, I wandered into the office. A sort of a hint to tell hubby it was my turn on the computer. I wanted to do a few promo things.

“You should hurry,” he said.

“But it’s only eight and the shops don’t open until ten.”

“We’ll have a coffee. I don’t want to be late and face crowds of people.”

I decided I wouldn’t argue the point and went off to have a shower. Updating my website etc could wait. We arrived before ten but most of the shops were open.

“I think I’ll check Stax first,” I said.

Hubby followed me into the dress shop that happens to be my favorite because everything is NZ made. I looked at a few things and he gave his commentary. I walked down the end of the shop and looked back at Mr. Munro. He was standing by a rack of dresses with his arms folded across his chest and an expression on his face that a wife doesn’t really like to see.

“Don’t fold your arms,” I said. “It’s annoying.” He did a sort of grunt and unfolded his arms.

We moved on and after a coffee, stopped at the next shop on my list.

“What do you think of this?” I demanded.

“Too busy.”

Finally, armed with a couple of outfits I went to the dressing room. I put them on and went out to show hubby. He nodded, which is short-speak for good. I noticed he didn’t cross his arms again. Definite Brownie points. About twenty minutes later we left with two skirts and a top.

“You were very good,” I said to Mr. Munro. “Thank you.”

He grinned and said, “It might have been different if we’d gone to a third shop.”

We stopped at Borders for a while and then to the grocery shop. Mr. Munro enjoys food shopping and he was positively cheerful by the time we left the shopping center.

How is your husband/partner/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend at shopping? Does the experience turn into a nightmare or is it a fun excursion? Who does the grocery shopping in your family?

All Things Shopping

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about SHOPPING

1. In ancient times, there was no money. People bartered or traded goods, that they had produced themselves.

2. In the past, customers were served by the shopkeeper, who would retrieve all the goods on their shopping list. Shops would often deliver the goods to the customers’ homes.

3. This changed to self-serve shopping where customers selected the goods, retrieved them off the shelves and packed their own goods. Customers deliver their own goods.

4. These days many of us shop on the internet, our goods are packed by the shopkeeper or his staff and delivered to us. We’ve come a full circle!

5. Sylvan Goldman invented the first shopping cart in 1936. He invented the first shopping cart by adding two wire basket and wheels to a folding chair.

6. The first shopping mall was the Country Club Plaza, founded by the J.C. Nichols Company and opened near Kansas City, Mo., in 1922.

7. At the start of the nineteenth century a form of mass produced clothing developed. It was of a simple basic style, mainly for ordinary men and women and unsuitable for the high fashion market of the upper classes. The only acceptable ready made items for the wealthy were free size garments like mantles, cloaks and shawls.

8. The American, Gordon Selfridge, invested in building a huge store in Oxford Street, London in 1909. Staff were hired months before it opened. They were trained in selling the Selfridge way. Shoppers flocked to the store when they heard of the delights inside such as make up and perfume. Clothes departments sold all manner of goods and hard to find items. Music greeted the shoppers and browsing there could be an all day experience. Shopping there was intended to be a recreation.

9. A Philadelphia pharmacist named Asa Candler invented the coupon in 1895. Candler bought the Coca-Cola company from the original inventor Dr. John Pemberton, an Atlanta pharmacist. Candler placed coupons in newspaper for a free Coke from any fountain – to help promote the new soft drink.

10. The first patent for bar code (US Patent #2,612,994) was issued to inventors Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver on October 7, 1952.

11. Shopping can be a disease – Compulsive shopping or spending can be a seasonal balm for the depression, anxiety and loneliness during the December holiday season. It also can occur when a person feels depressed, lonely and angry. Shopping and spending will not assure more love, bolster self-esteem, or heal the hurts, regrets, stress, and the problems of daily living. It generally makes these feelings worse because of the increased financial debt the person has obtained from compulsive shopping.

12. Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping. ~ Bo Derek

13. Shopping is a woman thing. It’s a contact sport like football. Women enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death, and the ecstasy of the purchase. ~ Erma Bombeck

Extra: Shopping is better than sex. If you’re not satisfied after shopping you can make an exchange for something you really like. ~ Adrienne Gusoff

Do you prefer to shop online or do you like to shop in person at a department store or mall?

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