Saturday, December 26, 2009

...and a Merry Capitalism Day to all!

Wasn't Boxing Day traditionally when people boxed up all the excess food from Christmas the day before, and delivered them to the less fortunate?

Well in today's world, it looks more like a day celebrated as the day of BIG BLOWOUT SALES!!

Town today was UNBELIEVABLE. I have never seen so many people queuing up to GET INSIDE a store. Seriously. The Bally store in the Queen Victoria Building is in the middle of the mall. The queue to get inside the store snaked all the way to the other end of the building (where the classic Adidas store is). There was even a security guard walking down the queue and yelling out "You will only have TEN MINUTES in the store! So make sure you make your decision and purchase within the first 10 minutes that you're inside!"

And guys, this was only at 10am. I think the store hadn't even opened yet!

Capitalism at its finest.

Everywhere you looked, there were people queueing up. It was so flipping insane!! And then I realized... 99.99% of all the people queuing up outside these high-end designer stores were all... ASIANS!

Yup, that's right. My kind was out in top form today. I couldn't believe it, but I'm afraid the stereotype is true. They're all slave to the designer label... Witness Exhibit A, queue outside Coach:

Exhibit B, queue outside Oroton:

(Taken surreptitiously, while we were having brunch.) (We thought we'd have a quiet start to the morning. We got it all wrong today.)

Exhibit C, queue outside Guess (OK, so this isn't quite high-end, but still! Would YOU queue up to get into... GUESS?!) (Yes, I'm a snob. I mean, if it's good enough for Paris Hilton... then... do I really still want it?!)

I was so tickled by the number of people who were so hard up to bag a good deal outside Oroton that I had to shoot a video of how long the queue was just to show you. (The Bally queue was about 5 times as long as this!)

We made our way outside and thought we'd check out Myer, the department store (which incidentally was open since 5am this morning)! But er... look at this sea of people! It's a shakey shot coz I was walking as I shot it... there was no way I was gonna be able to stand still in one spot to get the shot coz the sea of people just pushed you through.

Myer closed all its entrances except for the doors on either end of George St. and Pitt St. The queue to get in from Pitt Street snaked about 50 metres down Pitt Street Mall.

We weren't that desperate to get in, so we thought we'd check out the other department store up the road, David Jones. This was probably the only store with NO QUEUE!! However, once inside, it was plain to see that it was all also 99.99% Asians elbowing their way through the "bargain bins" of designer handbags (er... they averaged about $300 - $500 a bag. Yes, a real "bargain" indeed!)

I walked past a Chinese man with his Chinese wife and Chinese baby, and overheard him saying in Mandarin to his wife "It's all Asian people!" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
(Mandarin translation "Tong tong dou shi ya zhou ren!")

I found myself laughing at the incredulousness of the situation - it was just so unbelievable the lengths people will go to to grab a bargain! (I think we were the only people there who were NOT on a mission to shop.) (I also think it's a terrible idea to go window-shopping on Boxing Day. You need to know what you want and make a beeline for it on the day. No browsing unless you're crazy and actually like crowds).

This is the mayhem in David Jones bag department:

David Jones is one of these oldskool, traditional department stores that's a little bit up itself, and they even had a guy playing a grand piano in one of the corners in the bag section. (If I'm buying a discounted bag at $300, I would at least EXPECT a grand pianist next to the bargain bin. Wouldn't you?)

At one point, he was playing the tune of "The Entertainer" (I think? Maybe it was another one of those ragtime tunes), and I burst out laughing coz it really was like being in a Charlie Chaplin movie with everything moving in fast-motion at 18 frames per second with a funny music track playing in the background for added effect. I had to stand in the hat department (where there wasn't anyone interested in the hats) in order to get this video shot. Hope you can hear the pianist amidst the hubbub (I really didn't wanna elbow my way through to get closer to him just to video this!)
Note: If you're looking for some calm in a department store on Boxing Day, head to the hat section.

We gave up and decided to go watch a movie instead. We weren't spared from the queues at the theater either. Yes, I shot another video of the movie queue too! (When we got out of the movie, this queue was TWICE as long, leading all the way into the street outside).

If you're wondering what movie to watch next, YOU MUST GO AND WATCH AVATAR!!!

Seriously, even after all of the hype and super-high expectations of the movie, I wasn't disappointed (I'm usually exceptionally disappointed after reading and hearing rave reviews people have of movies). Not with this one though. It might be the first James Cameron flick I actually have respect for! It is just spectacularly BEAUTIFUL!! (Would also make a good acid trip, in parts.)

And oh man, the Na'vis are natural born yogis... I want to plug in and connect to Mother Nature like they can.

Which reminds me, I can't wait to get back on my mat tomorrow... I've had Christmas cake for dinner everyday for er... like... the past 3 nights now. So... yes, I have become completely disconnected from my body. Tomorrow's practice is going to be difficult, now that I have to push my instant pot belly aside!


  1. Eek! So glad I stayed put today! My husband ventured to the junkyard (on foot) and said the traffic queues were many, many blocks long.

    Funny, everyone I know is completely jack of shopping by the time xmas day rolls around, yet come boxing day... more punishment! This time buying stuff for themselves, I guess. And of course the lure of the bargain. I also refuse to take the kids to the movies on boxing day - we've got weeks to do all that stuff.

    Listen to the misanthrope! Just call me Ebenezer.

    Oh, and that photo is adorable!

  2. I think you really need to switch the gear in your brain to "Shop no matter what. My success depends on the best bargain I get today" mode. You just need to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and trawl. I think we weren't prepared for it in the least so it was quite a shock! (but a fun surprise too coz it was such an incredible sight). Hope you had a good past 2 days! xxx

  3. "Tong tong dou shi ya zhou ren!"

    HA HA HA!!! I love how you mock your heritage. I find humor in my own white, hillbilly roots.

    I'm horrified by the holidays. So much crap. Of course, I have a dilemma in my thinking- I think people need to own less stuff and re-prioritize their lives, but then I want them to buy my purses! ha!

    I find that documenting situations that could be stressful or awful can really take the edge off. Glad you did it!

  4. Just saw Avatar today, it was amazing!

  5. Hey Liz! I usually hate crowds and wouldn't have bothered... but I think because it was such an abnormality that there were crowds and queues EVERYWHERE, I kinda felt compelled to see it all and take it all in. And I was very amused by it, which is probably why I didn't feel too stressed about it (which I usually would've been). Is it this mad in the US too?

    KMB - isn't it just gorgeous? And I thought of another thing about the Na'vis today... "I see you" is their form of "Namaste". :D

  6. hi Skippety
    it makes me wonder about the recession. it's not showing up in the stores. the main mall in PR was also packed, in particular the day after Xmas, when people go return or exchange things.


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