Shopping

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Mr T,

Nice piece on the local shopping haunts. You know way too much about them though - are you sure you're not heading over to the dark side ?

I usually head to book stores to avoid the madding crowds - Swindon in TST, HK Book Center in Central, or any of the Page One's are a good bet. Or there is always the "Whatever you choose will be fine" approach (as long as you're not going to complain about it afterwards).

I tried to take an interest when we were getting stuff for decorating the flat. Did you know there is more to Lockhart road than pubs ? There are sooo many different types of loo, tile, light, door-knob, etc in the building shops along that road. A couple of shops and everything looks the same to me though, so the compromise was that MrsB and her sister (who is genetically predisposed to shop) would do all the major intelligence gathering. Then on the prearranged day I was taken to see what we were having, given a last chance to give my input, and taken for a beer to recover...

MrB

Park'n'Shop in Festival Walk

Did you really say that the Park'n'Shop in Festival Walk is the worst in the SAR? That's quite a claim!

Compared to most of their stores in the New Territories, I'd say that it is actually very good - which isn't saying a lot, I admit.

The worst?

Hi Chris -- it's far from the worst in terms of product range; in fact it's not bad at all for a lot of gweilo-friendly products. But it's crushingly crowded, and for some reason it's got the worst staff of any supermarket I've been to in my years here, and that really is saying a lot!! One of my colleagues lives near there, and has talked to someone in PnS senior management about the place. He said they've got an ongoing problem with very high levels of staff turnover, etc.

Mr B: I agree. I have paid my shopping dues. and now I've got a daughter who's showing intense interest in the field already. Could go either way, I guess -- I'll have two people dropping hints about 'looking for things', but maybe they can just go off and do so together, and leave me . . . .

Re:Shopping

Very nice article on shopping complexes around Hong Kong.

One suggestion is to try and add in Shatin. I think it is OK to shop there and there are many exits for the men to drink around, smoke or what have you.

Ask your wife or girlfriend to answer her phone though. Otherwise both of you could end up wasting hours finding each other.

Cheers!

a few comments

Dear Mr T & Mr B,

The "guy" shopping thing. I am a "destination shopper" and my husband is the "must gather information on everything for sale for at least a 6 month period before we can finally be sure we are getting the best price/quality".
He likes to window shop frequently because he says that you never know what is available unless you look and keep updated.

I, on the other hand, call myself a "Platonic shopper." I imagine the product I want (e.g. bread machine) and choose between 2 or 3 types in 1 or 2 stores and then make my purchase, or decide against it for the next few years. So, calling this a sex linked characteristic is not completely accurate.

I think you put down Shatin too much. I think is OK, although it's best to get there before 1pm on a week-end. When we lived in Tai Wai it was our main shopping destination. The SeiYu store is one of the finer mid-range department stores in HK (IMHO). If you visit New Town Plaza during the week, it is tolerable, and last time I visited you could still get a decent coffee and sit and smoke at the "San Francisco Cafe". The Commercial Press isn't so bad there.

Oh and you forgot to mention The Commercial Press store in Star House. Decent assortment of English and Chinese language books - good prices, not too crowded. But, you have to get the key to the toilet from the cashiers.

Re: Ocean Terminal. In 1992, I got lost in there looking for the Oliver's supermarket that used to be there (in search of Tahini). Later when talking about the disorientation of the curving white corridors, my friend said to me, straight faced "Well, you know they shot the inetrior scenes of the Death Star there..." for about 5 seconds, I actually believed her.

In Mongkok, if you get bored w/ the clothes - go visit the fish stores on Tung Choi street. You can also find some good bike shops,. etc.

Tai Koo Shing - also OK if you exit before 2pm on a weekend. UNY & Jusco have pretty good assortment of products and you can often get yoghurt and other things cheaper there than you can in Wellcome or Park N Shop.

Pacific Place... LAME.... - so over-priced and few places to sit down and eat. Almost the only time I go there now is to go to WiseKids to get Playmobil stuff. Nice decorations, 'though.

shatin

Thanks much for the comments, Ron and lohpoh.

You're no doubt right that I'm far too hard on Shatin. I think it goes back to my horrific memories of New Town which are now some years old. In recent years, I have to admit I've only been there at weekends, so I've been seeing it at its worst. It sounds as if it's improved some.

Lohpoh, I love the 'platonic' shopper line! You can actually read it two ways, i.e. either in terms of 'platonic relationship', or in terms of those of us who seek the best earthly manifestion of the true form of the object for which we shop. You're right: it's a far better fault line than the guy/girl one I used.

I also think a common, and very sensible, principle is emerging here: in HK, shop on late Saturday morning (or during the week, of course, if you can), have a late lunch, and get out!

By the way, you may interested to hear that the shopping gods smote me with several hours of concentrated poetic justice in Pacific Place yesterday. Long story on why we ended up there, and inevitably a tremendously boring one, so I'll stop here!

Mr T

Platonic Ideals in Shopping

Mr B. wrote:
"Those of us who seek the best earthly manifestion of the true form of the object for which we shop". Yes, exactly. Doesn't everyone understand Platonic to mean that? ;)

I also wish that department stores were organized like mail order catalogs: all shirts in one place subdivided by type (t-shirt, dress-shirt [long & short sleeved], etc. size and color).

Re:Shopping

New Town Plaza is a bit of a nightmare, but it does have a Starbucks if you like that sort of thing, and an HMV.

In my early days in Hong Kong, a colleague took me to the food court in Seiyu and I remember being amazed by the sheer size of NTP and the huge number of people!

Re:Shopping

Yes the Festival Walk Park N Shop is in fact the worst in Hong Kong.

Worst still is that the local mentality to food shopping is the diametric opposite of the western phillosophy.

In the west we pile our trolleys high for maximum economy and high-yeild shopping, whereas locals prefer to buy in small but frequent doses. As a result shopping at the Park N Shop Festival Walk is a rather trying experience.

You are alone in a sea of people with modest baskets of food who each take the time to comment on your gluttenous shipment with a customary "Waaaah!!" By the time the 800th person has said "Waaaah!!" you are just about ready to batter someone with the massive vat of corn oil you are purchasing, at which point the Car Park Shroff Office attendant validates your card and goes "Waaaah!" as you hand him your massive receipt for less-extortionate parking charges.

And that's on a weekday. I've only been once on a Saturday. I walked in and just turned around and walked back out, isntead opting to head to Page One and Hong Kong Records

^ above post mine, sorry for the lack of Name

^ above post mine, sorry for the lack of Name

Re:Shopping

[quote="John L Swaine"] Worst still is that the local mentality to food shopping is the diametric opposite of the western phillosophy. [/quote]

Locals probably don't own cars, so large-scale shopping isn't really an option!!

I sometimes get a bit frustrated by the queues in the Park'n'Shop at Festival Walk, but I don't find it significantly worse than other branches, and it does have a better selection of things I want to buy.