Hiding From The Heat


Here are some notes from two days hiding from the heat in shopping centres.

First, bigger shopping centres have better air conditioning and better food courts. Marrickville Metro might have free parking but Broadway is a better hiding spot. It also has more stores for “window shopping”. The Australia Post outlet at Broadway is open 7 days, which is why I went there today.

Talking of parking, the man punching tickets at Hoyts will let you sneak in and get your parking ticket stamped for an extra free hour even if you haven’t seen a movie if your cool about it. I had my parking ticket in my hand and said “Excuse me, I just need to get my ticket stamped” and he let me walk the few feet to the machine. Oh, and I did it before I had my bags of shopping. I guess he doesn’t care if I’m scamming a few bucks off the parking company.

The food court at Broadway is pretty good, though I couldn’t find eggs on toast anywhere when I looked for breakfast. The large round tables and the long benches have USB and 240 volt charging underneath them so no problem keeping the phone and the Macbook charged if you’ve remembered the required bits (I keep a spare Mac charger, USB cable and 240 volt to USB gadget in a pencil case so they’re easy to throw into my bag when I’m going out).

A large frozen mango drink with lychee jelly from Chatime is not only a taste sensation (mmmmm, lychee) but stays cold for ages so you can sit at the table with one of those in front of you tapping on the Macbook for a good 45 minutes quite justifiably.

Notes From Watching People

Men, please, none of you look good in shorts that go down to your kneecaps or below. You just look silly, like you can’t be bothered to get clothes that fit. Women, the opposite applies, it is far too common for you to be wearing shorts too short. That much large thigh and cellulite isn’t the look you want. Only waif-like teenagers look good in those shorts.

Generally, what were you thinking! As my old friend Robin Adams (who was a fashion designer and incredibly stylish) always said, “Don’t they own a mirror”. Some of those outfits I wouldn’t wear to take out the garbage.

Speaking of looking; guys it’s not too bad to sit there watching the women walk past but it’s totally OTT to stare when they’re sitting at the next table.

It’s surprising how many little kids are eating sushi. Dozens of them. I guess the cut up rolls are small enough, it’s fairly healthy, filling and the tastes are varied. I wonder if it was available twenty years ago “white bread, no butter” Williams, the world’s pickiest eater, otherwise known as Jessica, would have eaten it.

Shopping

Surprisingly, H&M is better for buying socks and undies than KMart, better range and prices just as good, if not better. Neither have bulk men’s handkerchieves. I didn’t have to worry about socks and hankies, but then Jessie isn’t around to buy them for Xmas and my birthday anymore (old family joke buying them for me as gifts and cooking Pavlova for high days and holidays are things she inherited from her grandmother).

Good salespeople are worth their weight to a store. KMart, Myer and their like should learn this. The woman in “Cotton On” told she could check if the “factory” (which I’m sure is just a warehouse but we’ll let that little white lie go) had my size of a shirt in stock and they would ship it for free. That way she sold two shirts she wouldn’t have since they had neither of the colours I liked in my size, she just got me to try the sizes in a colour I didn’t want and then took my money.

Then in Harvey Norman the salesman wouldn’t let me hook the Macbook up to the TV via HDMI so I could check if it worked and what it looked like. In JB HiFi the salesman not only let me do it but offered to lend me a HDMI 2 cable to see if it made a difference. Then when it got down to the last two TVs (a Samsung and an LG) with identical price labels. I asked the difference between the two, he said “the colour on the LG might be a bit better but I bet you could adjust that away. We’ve got $150 off that price on this one so I think that’s your decision made.” So I bought the TV off him. It wasn’t even a big sale, it was only a 32” smart TV so the final price was $400 and he had TVs on sale for 10 times that.

Good sales people equal good sales.

I’ve found a great way for spending hours at the shopping centre without it costing me too much. First, I go with a shopping list. Today’s list was:

  • Socks.
  • Undies.
  • Hankies.
  • Two or three shirts for work, preferably under $60 each.
  • 32” Smart TV, preferably under $500 but definitely under $550.

Then I take a limited amount of cash. Today it was $30 in my wallet and about $10 in my change purse. Only things on the list get paid for with my card, everything else comes out of the cash. The cash paid for breakfast when I got there, my frozen drink from Chatime, a New Scientist from the newsagent and my lunch. I was going to buy a book but then I wouldn’t have had lunch.

The TV is a big purchase, for a big purchase like that I have rules. No impulse buying. I have to shop around then go home and check online, finally I wait a few weeks before deciding to add it to the budget. Big things like that have to be bought from the money left over at the end of the month. I’m saving hard for a trip to the US and Canada.

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