June 19, 2008

#6 Shopping

For some cultures and people, shopping is seen as merely a utilitarian or functional activity to acquire goods, products or services.

Malaysians however, take shopping far, far more seriously. The average Malaysian spends half his time at the mall, effectively making it his or her second home. The copious amount of time spent here does not necessarily correlate with purchases made; the mere notion of shopping is enough to thrill and occupy the Malaysian for hours on end. Malls are therefore built large enough for people to spend the whole day wandering around aimlessly.

The Malaysian does not purchase items without intense scrutiny of quality and price and is a very shrewd consumer. The pinnacle of the Malaysian shopper's experience is the year end Malaysia Mega Sale where the phrase "The whole of Malaysia is on sale!" can be taken literally. This shopping frenzy caused by the sales attracts not only millions of Malaysians, but also foreigners from various countries eager to take advantage of the low prices, variety and exchange rate. This overlooked tourist attraction in fact contributes tremendously to the Malaysian economy as foreigners purchase enough goods for stores to survive until the next sale comes along.

A typical sales event sparks frenzied scenes of people shouting, jostling and rushing to gain leverage over other shoppers. An inexperienced shopper or someone unaccustomed to sales events should never enter such a situation unarmed and unprotected. Rabid shoppers will not hesitate to trample, maul or maim you should you get in their way.

Seasoned, experienced shoppers have mastered the art of shopping over time and are well informed about events even before any form of advertising appears. Expert Malaysian shoppers are wont to compare bargains they acquired and scoff at people who pay more than they did for similar items. The true Malaysian shopper lives by this golden rule; never purchase anything if it isn't on sale.


Justin Choo said...

Hey BH!

You are good!! But why Australia? Answer: Why Not?

Came here thru TVSMITH's blog.

I shall link yours to my blog.

Keep up the fun work!!

Justin Choo

B.H. said...

Hi Justin,

Thanks very much for your linkage and your kind praise. I am both honored and humbled.

Despite its shortcomings, Malaysia still is incomparable to me. I appreciate any suggestions you would have to make.

Come back soon!