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A word of advice to all Asian shop assistants...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Standing behind me, following me every time I take more than three steps, and directly staring at me while not saying a word will not exactly entice me to keep browsing at your store. Neither will shouting 'silahKANNNN' or 'cari apaaaa?' at me as I walk by.

The shopping in Asia is seriously amazing - but shopping environments sometimes aren't. The cheapest malls are often the busiest, and usually clothing stores are these extremely tiny little boutiques which are always buzzing with twice the safe amount of shoppers. By extremely tiny, I do mean extremely tiny. Think, the size of an average bedroom. Sometimes stores are bigger but typical boutiques are about that size.

Also, the place to try clothes on, if there is one, is usually a mirror with a curtain you pull around. Most of the time there's a sizeable gap between the wall and the edge of the curtain, making things kind of exciting as you hurry to yank on some clothes so as not to risk accidentally flashing anybody.

Pasar are a whole different matter however. They're like malls but instead of having just assorted clothing, food, and trinket stores there are also places that sell household items, work uniforms, and groceries - basically anything you'll need for everyday life. Pasar (the word means 'market') are always very cheap so long as you bargain hard.

There's a pasar in Surabaya called DTC (Darmo Trade Center) which is my favorite, because below the mall part there's a winding subterranean world stuffed absolutely full of vendors. I like to buy shoes there, because I can score deals like $8 for Toms and $9 for Converse - but there's also clothes, Islamic items, and lots and lots of fresh food. If you can deal with the stench and unsanitary-ness of the grocery section, that is.

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I'm Sara, the freckled bule, one out of eight of the coolest people in the world. I spent a year in Indonesia as a KL/YES Abroad student but now I live in Boise, Idaho. Welcome to my bloggity blog.


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