Thursday, June 15, 2006

Shopping in Libya

I've been out shopping again. Not that that's anything new in my life because I spend a good portion of my life on the quest for a bargain. I usually love shopping, but there are times when I get so disgusted with the people who work in the shops.

Today I went out to pick up a few things. Since I have girls to buy for as well as myself, I spend lots of time looking in lingerie shops. Today's quest was bras so I popped into a nearby shop to see what they had. There was a nice big countertop with loads of bras - different types and styles. A few years ago you would be lucky to find any bras. Still the choice is limited and you have to hunt to find things of good quality, but the hunt is part of the fun.

I found the style I liked and was looking for the right size. Hovering about 6 inches away from me was the sales guy. 'What are you looking for?' - I ignorred him. Again he says, 'What are you looking for?' I turned and gave him the look I save for people who have just asked a very stupid question and replied, 'Isn't it obvious? I'm standing here with my hands on a pile of bras - What do YOU think I am looking for?' He got the message because he said nothing and backed away.

Why do salesmen come and suck your air while you are trying to buy things like bras and panties? And why they are standing right next to you in a flash if you go anywhere near thongs? One day if I'm bored and have time, I will do my best to torture the guy and start making him answer a zillion questions about all the lingerie in the store . . .make him wish he never worked there . . . If I had time . . . I seldom have time for such fun and games.

Another thing that I noticed while shopping for shoes was that if I go alone the sales guys pay no attention whatsoever to me. But if I take my girls they are all over us, ready to help in any way they can. This is fine if I want to buy something for the girls, but I hate shopping with Sara and Nora. Only Jenna has inherited my 'shop until you drop' gene. Sara and Nora are awful to shop with, especially Nora.

A few weeks ago I went out to buy a skirt. I walked into the shop and before I could even approach a clothes rack I was practically attacked by the sales guy. 'What do you want to buy?' he asked. Actually he didn't really say this, it came across more like a demand. I acted like I didn't hear him and headed for a selection of skirts. 'What do you want to buy?' he demanded again. I turned and looked at him and said. 'Maybe I don't want to buy anything. Maybe I just want to look. You know, some people just want to look on their own. If I need your help I will ask you. Back off please.' Sometimes you just have to be blunt with these characters!

He decided to back off and leaned over a clothes rack while he watched a football match on the ever present television. The thought that he had draped himself over merchandise that I might want to buy didn't occur to him and he had no idea at all that I considered his behaviour rude. I wasn't interested in giving this guy any of my money so I left the shop empty handed.

Occasionally I get really disgusted with these fools, and on those days I take revenge. It's very simple, all you have to do is say to the guy, 'I think I saw the baladiyah about a block away. Have they been in this area yet?' The guy will imediately turn pale. 'Baladiyah!' - the word is out. All up and down the row of shops the guys are pulling the shutters down. 'Baladiyah! Baladiyah!'

I can shut down all of Shara Jaraba in about ten minutes. . . . hehehehe


  1. It´s worse yet; sometime I NEED the guy/gal in the shop to help me with something, if I cannot find it. And then I´ll usually get the complete stupid answer: "If it´s not there, we probably don´t have it!"

    "Would you please go look...thank you?!"

    (Staring at me like I am crazy): "Why?"

    "Because maybe it´s stored in the back or yet unpacked. Please"

    (Guy/gal moves s l o w l y to the counter or behind the curtain; 2 seconds later he/she is back:
    "I don´t think we have it."

    "Can you check with the inventory. Please." ( I AM very, very stubborn)


    "Because it might be on your order list?"

    "How do you know?"

    "I don´t. Please go look."

    At this time I ought to haft left to a more service minded shop. I probably do in most cases, but sometimes it is vital to get something and you are at the mercy of morons behind counters.

    Good luck!

  2. Teri, what is Baladiya? thanks Sandi

  3. that was very funny to read, i think you did what most of us would love to do or say to these annouying shop assisstants, even in London they exist but the worst has to be Amman, Jordon, have you been there? if you ever go shopping in Amman you have to switch your defence system on before you enter any shop.
    keep up the good work :-)

  4. Baladiyah - it's actually the city municipality. They go around the shops making sure that shop keepers are not violating any rules. If they are then they get ticketed with a fine.

    The main problem is that 'rules / laws' are rather nebulous. One week a shop keeper might get a fine for not flying the national flag outside their shop. - The Baladiyah will come and say 'Where's the flag?' Then they get a fine for not having one. The following week they will get a fine for having a flag - because that week isn't the time for flying the flag. (I'm not joking - this happened to someone I know once!)

    When a shop keeper gets a ticket they must immediately close their shop and they are not allowed to open until they have paid the fines. This means they must stand in line at the Baladiyah for half the day in order to pay.

    So when the Baladiyah is out and about most people just shut their shops shutters and wait until the 'all clear'.

  5. this is way to funny! My husband gets annoyed with sales people here in the US, and will tell them, "when I need you I will find you". I think if you and I went shopping together, we would be dangerous. ha! Sandi

  6. I hate pushy salespeople...the Baladiyah threat is priceless...wish it worked in Georgia!!

  7. Speaking of Baladiya, my kids call my husband that when he 's come home unexpectedly!!!Especially when they're doing something they shouldn't be like playing loud music etc..... lol!!!!!

  8. so funny, I think it gets even worse when u enter the cosmetics shops, all the saleswomen there will be attacking u, they’ll be stuck at your nose asking "what r u looking for?", "try this is or try that"....don't they know, that we know what we r looking for, and if we don't ...we will ask them, and the funny part is when u do need there help and ask them, they will go like "mmm, mmm, well, mmm, i don't know"!!!!!!!!!!


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