Thursday, December 08, 2005

Buddha Was A Shopaholic

A lot of things have been bugging my mind lately, so to relax I decided to do a tried-and-tested McVie stress release last night: going through grocery or supermarket aisles.

I don’t know why, but I just find it so relaxing to look at all the stuff being sold on-shelves. I don’t necessarily have to buy anything, though I often end up purchasing an item or two, however small, just to justify my staying in the supermarket for an hour or so. Maybe I just find it comforting to know that certain items exist (“Oh my, bottled dried oysters!” “Wow, there’s already an ampalaya-scented variant of that shampoo?!”) Or I delight in finding certain items that can be of use. Or maybe there’s that inner capitalist-consumer in me that sees the abundance of products on-shelf and thinks, “I covet therefore I acquire.” One day.

First stop, Tiendesitas along C-5. Okay, so that place doesn’t qualify as a grocery, but what the heck; it’s open until late. Besides, I was interested in checking out a particular Christmas light décor which my mom expressed interest in a few weeks ago. Unfortunately the shop which sold that particular item was already closed when I got there. (What a perfect excuse to go back again tonight!) So I decided to look around at the food section. I ended up buying two bottles of crushed toasted garlic and a half-roll of sugar-free braso de Mercedes. Too bad most of the other shops were already closed or about to close, so I left for my next destination.

Near the intersection of C-5 and Ortigas is the Cost-U-Less warehouse. For the longest time I’ve been intrigued by that place since it announced it was open 24 hours. Oh really, eh? But I suppose it made business sense, because Libis is now the unofficial call center capital of the Philippines. I guess all those call boys and call girls need to shop during ungodly hours. But last night was the first time I set foot on the place.

Outside it’s unremarkable; with very few cars in the spacious parking lot (this was already close to midnight) it seemed like I would be disappointed. But the moment I stepped in—whoa! This was a huge warehouse, and it was well-stocked. What they lack in variety they make up for in bulk—and I do mean bulk. Stacks and stacks of Garlic SPAM (my favorite variant!), boxes and boxes of Dial Soap, bottles of White Rain shampoo… you know they won’t run out of stocks even after a nuclear attack. A lot of imported brands are available (especially toothbrushes—there’s this French brand that’s the prominent brand on-shelf), which would guarantee that the Filipino colonial mentality won’t be cured for several more generations. That also explained why I saw several expats and rich Chinese families (from nearby exclusive villages) shopping there even at a very late hour.

Going from aisle to aisle, I delighted in just looking at all the merchandise. I started at the appliances aisle, moved on to the meat, poultry and fish sections (with those huge mega-industrial size freezers big enough to hold an igloo), then on to the wine and spirits, candies and chocolates, canned goods, kiddie and adult diapers, pasta and noodles, hair care, oral care, spices, etc. Whew! Even before I reached the last aisle I was already very calm, very much at peace, not a care in the world. I ended up with no purchases but that was okay.

I achieved shopping nirvana: a sense of peace without loss of money.


Blogger Nelson said...

there's a sugar-free brazo de mercedez????


try going through the aisles of a home hardware store. it's so fun looking at powertools... ;-)

7:06 AM  
Blogger McVie said...

Oh yes, I LOOOVE hardware stores too! That's because most of the stuff there are so unfamiliar to me, so I find them all fascinating.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Ree said...

hey mcVie how come you have not linked up to me? LOL

1:45 PM  
Blogger McVie said...

REE: Ay sus, nagtampo pa raw o! Your blog was under my "Favorites" for the longest time na. O sha, para wala nang tampuhan. :-)

2:25 PM  

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