Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Feature- Shoping and Time Waste

Asalamu alaikum,

I like to make lists. In America I made lists to go shopping, and I loved crossing off things on the list. It helped me to get in, get what I need and get out with a minimum of wasted time.

I am also not a bargainer. I really dislike arguing with a shopkeeper over something I want. I want to sit, select my stuff(I also do this fairly quickly, I know what I like and what I don't), and get out. The whole feel is just weird, I want a dress, the shopkeeper wants to sell it, I know what is a reasonable range, he does too. Why can't he just toss out a reasonable number, I will say yes, pay and move on?

The whole experience of shopping here is difficult for me. I don't like crowds(the markets are always packed), I hate bargaining(if it was an Olympic sport, these shopkeepers would win), I don't like wasted time, and on top of all that I can't actually say a word myself as then the prices skyrocket because everyone knows I am foreign and they assume I have $$$$$$$$$$$$.

My sisters in law and husband all bargain, for everything, even things that make no sense to me. Arguing with a shopkeeper over 20 rupees on a lace trim? To me totally not worth it. I would rather pay the extra and save the 5 minutes. That time is much more valuable to me than the 20 rupees.

That is the main issue I have with shopping here, time. People make jokes about "PST/IST"(Pakistani standard time/Indian standard time), or "Desi time", how Southeast Asians are always late. Stereotype though it maybe, it is very often true here. People value their time less, and respect your time less also. So when we go shopping, it is so much wasted time, and it just stresses me. Shopkeepers have nowhere else they are going at that moment, and the shoppers just want to spend all their time arguing the guy down to his lowest price.

To me time is valuable, if you say you are coming to my house at a certain time, I expect you to be there at the time you agree to. If I am going to someones house, it bothers me so much that I am sitting ready and everyone else is still getting dressed at the time we were supposed to arrive. And that 20 rupees for lace trim? I am totally going to pay that so I can get home and be using that extra saved time to play a game with my son or snuggle up with my husband and watch our favorite TV series.


Adventurous Ammena said...

you know I never thought about the time keeping in that way.. but its so true!! I was so frustrated at my walimah that a very important member of our party was still getting dressed when it should have started. That for me was lack of respect, not just for time but for us.. like they couldnt be bothered :(

krissy said...

I know what you mean. When I lived as an expat in Jakarta Indonesia the shop keepers liked to chat because to them they were practicing their English. So it always took twice as long to get anything done.

But perhaps someday you can use these as lessons for your children to explain the cultural differences. But not in a bad way, just the fact that many counties have differences and this is one of them.

Can I ask what the shopping is like there when buying fabric. I know how they are or were at least in the 1980's in Jakarta, so I am wondering if they are similar?

This is our first year of homeschooling, my oldest graduates from high school this year. My son, age (almost 14, November birthday) and my other daughter is almost 11. She also has a November birthday. So I do hope it's okay to look through your blog for posts to share with them about your travels and experiences and any photos you have posted. I noticed its been awhile since you posted and I know how often life gets in the way and having two small children doesn't make it easier. But I do hope that someday when you have time you share a bit more about Pakistan and any other information you post about. May I ask what state (or generalized area of the United States you moved from?) I am in northern central North Dakota so I know how much culture shock I went through so I was wondering did you have help to prepare for your move there? I had little to no help other than friends from ND that also lived there shared a few details such as the temperature and some suggestions for my parents on what to bring in our luggage. A sewing machine was on that list as our friends knew my mum was crafty, so I learned to sew as a child because we had a sewing machine. Sorry for babbling and if you would rather not answer that is okay as well, I respect that.

BTW do you know of any good books about Islam that are in English that either of my two younger kids could read? We are not overly religious ourselves although my husband's great grandfather was an Amish minister (not sure of their exact title) but I really dislike how the media in the United States show Muslims. As I would say they are radicals and it does not show the true faith so I would like my children to learn more because I have experienced first hand that it's not what the media describes. And I want them to learn about the different cultures and religions of the world. Sorry again for babbling, but I do it so often I just don't think about it.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Thank you ever so much!