Monthly Archives: May 2012

Things I Know about Shopping in India

Express Avenue Mall, Chennai

  • There seem to be more employees than customers in most stores. The staff follow you around closely. It’s fucking annoying. Sometimes they try to help, but mostly they just get in the way and make it very uncomfortable to browse.
  • If you have a bag with you, it has to be handed to a security guard at the door or left at the baggage counter if they have one. – not your handbag though – that would be silly. They check that as you leave though.
  • In a supermarket they will pack as much as they can into one bag and squash your bread in the process. They then write the number of bags on the receipt and a security guard checks the receipt on the way out and puts a little rip in it.
  • In the supermarket, again there are more staff than customers and they push product in your face in the hopes you will buy it. Fucking annoying.
  • Most aisles are impassable due to either a)piles of stock waiting to be put on shelves b) five staff members with ladders stocking the shelves or c) three staff members standing around chatting. If you dare say excuse me you will get an evil look or a product shoved in your face.
  • People will look in your trolley out of curiosity. They are not discreet about this. They will look at you and then have a really good look at your trolley and then back at you. Rude and annoying.
  • In Chennai, If you pay by credit card it can be a lengthy process. They take the card and swipe it. Then write something in a book. Then take the book to some credit card dude in another part of the store. Then they will come back and you have to sign that piece of paper and then they write something else down and then you have finished the transaction. This is all done at the slowest possible pace. This is more annoying if the seven people in front of you pay by credit card.
  • In Mumbai, they have embraced EFTPOS, thank all the gods of efficiency.

Sunday at Big Bazaar supermarket, Chennai

  • If you pay cash, it is likely that they will not have the right change. They will ask you for change and if you don’t have it they will get out their own wallet and pay from there or call someone over to get more change. I could understand this if I was buying something for 50 rupees and was paying with a 1000 rupee note. But no. This happens when I buy something for 430 with a 500 rupee note. (Sorry, but all my small notes are in the bag they confiscated at the door.)
  • Some things are cheaper here, like most grocery items. Electronics are about the same price.
  • A lot of the time the notes are held up to the light to see if you are giving them counterfeit money. I was once accused of trying to pay with souvenir money.
  • You can get wads of souvenir money from the souvenir shop.
  • Nothing opens until 10am
  • All shops are the biggest or most famous.
  • I have so much more to tell you about shopping in India but this is a start

    Spencer Plaza. The Oldest Mall in Chennai


Most of the above was learnt in Chennai. So far Mumbai is a bit better, but I still get followed around in every store by an annoying unhelpful shadow.

Linking up with Dorothy for Things I Know

Laundromat with a capital ‘L’

Picked up this cute computer stand that doubles as a laundry powder container. Handy

I’m sitting here in the Laundromat. I never thought I would be so happy to be in a Laundromat. The Laundromat is located in the other hotel, the one they first put us in – the tiny one. The hotel that we moved to has no Laundromat or kitchen facilities. It has pricey hotel laundry service, that I worked out would cost us more than $150 a week to use. Even if we stopped caring about the nutella stains and wore that t-shirt for a second day.

But thank the front loading gods for Laundromats. Today I filled a cooler bag full of clothes, washing powder, the netbook and my mobile and rocked on up to the first hotel. We still have the key cards so we still have access to this floor. We haven’t asked anyone if we can use the Laundromat, but we haven’t been told we can’t… I’m pretty sure it’s ok. I don’t really care if it’s not actually.

So here I am, waiting for our clean clothes to dry. I don’t like using a dryer but there is nowhere to hang our clothes to dry. This is one of the things I miss about Chennai. OK, maybe the only thing I miss about Chennai. Our two washing machines and large balcony made things so much easier. But waiting for the washing to dry in the dryer – because one must supervise one’s smalls in a public area – I get to spend some time alone without interruptions from my darlings. I may even get some writing done. I may actually write about all the stuff I keep meaning to tell you.

Or I could play Airport Mania…

Question for those playing at home: Why does spellcheck make me capitalise Laundromat? Should it be capitalised? I would have thought not.

Is spell check trying to make me look stupid, or am I doing a fine job of that already by asking questions like this?

Free chocolate* to anyone who can tell me the answers.


*Not really.

Dear Millar: Four Years, Two Months

Baby Millar

You hate it when I call you baby boy. “I’m not a baby!, I’m just a boy!”

How did you go from this tiny blue bundle to the four going on fourteen year old I see now?

Working on your Playstation tan

They tried to warn me it would go so fast.

You look so grown up and not my baby any more.

I’m glad you still want to hold my hand and snuggle into me at night.

You are still my baby boy. You’re just a lot more boy than baby.

I love you