Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hong Kong Needs a K-Mart

I was so frustrated yesterday that I could have bit nails and spit tacks.

I was repairing something in our bathroom and needed a tube of silicone sealant or caulk. The stuff is ubiquitous, easy to find and cheap. You can get it everywhere. Well, everywhere except near where I live.

I went to three little shops in the shopping center under our building. I went to the Jusco $10.00 store several blocks away, Pricerite, and the big 24 hour Wellcome Supermarket near Victoria Park. It wasn't there. I also looked at a couple of plumbing fixture places; no luck. This took over an hour because I had to wade through the molasses like crowds that clog the Causeway Bay sidewalks on Saturdays.

The frustrating thing is that if I'm not looking for this stuff I'll see it in about 40 places in an hour. I'll probably find it tomorrow but I wanted it yesterday. That's Hong Kong.

The last place I looked was Ikea. I didn't expect to really find it there but you never know. Ikea is sort of a Swedish Wal-Mart with out the clothing and groceries. They sell furniture, dishes and household decorator items like curtains and bed spreads. They also carry light bulbs and batteries and household electrical supplies so there was chance they'd have caulk or sealer.

I went to Ikea last because Ikea is a store I absolutely hate with a purple passion. I actually like many of their products but the store is laid out in a serpentine fashion that forces you to walk past everything to get to anything. I swear that they read my mind before I go in there because it always seems that whatever I want is the last thing on the last twist of the path. Not that it would make any difference because I'd still have to walk past all the other stuff to check out anyway.

I freely admit I'm a buyer not a shopper.

I want to enter a store that has a high probability of having the item(s) I want at a reasonable price, walk directly to that item or items because there are clear signs that tell where things are and then select the item from the shelf, rack or bin. I then want to pay without standing in line for 45 minute. What I want is a K-Mart or maybe a Target or a Sears in Causeway Bay. I'd say Wal-Mart but then I get lots of weirdo's calling me names.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Buyer Not Shopper Blogger

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