Saturday, November 12, 2011

Buying Boots

In contrast to my previous post, now I feel compelled to share about an aspect of expat life I do not appreciate, the part where I try to buy apparel.

I need black winter boots. In America, I imagine buying boots would look something like this - I go into a store. I see boots I like. I find my size and try them on. I like the boots on my feet. I buy the boots.

Of course there could be other intervening factors, like I have to go to several stores, or they don't have my size, or they're too expensive. But at no point would it look like it does here.

Here, I go to buy shoes at a place with dozens of shoe vendors. I have to try to look for good boots while not getting too close because then the sellers harass me with questions about what I want. If I find boots I like, I have to convince the seller that yes, I really need to try them on in my own size and not a size or color that's "close enough." If I like the boots I try on, then I have to haggle a price. Prices have risen dramatically here and add to that me being a foreigner and I know that what they are asking is nowhere near what I could end up paying if I have the patience to bargain. But how can I know what's reasonable to pay? It's best to walk away and keep looking, and come back later, but then I have to go through the whole process in another stall and wonder, "Maybe those first boots were best?" And all in my second language.

So maybe you can understand why I went boot shopping the other day, went through this process in one stall, walked away and gave up. I just didn't have it in me that day.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Some days I feel the same way after a trip to the mall but at least I spoke in my first language the whole time! Hope you find some good boots quickly next time.

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