Thursday, May 8, 2008

Creative shopping

Shopping today in west-Beirut (yup, unfortunately it’s time for those terms again) was a crazy affair because everybody was thinking it a pretty good idea to stock up on essentials and do so at our, repeat our store. First, you had to wait 15 minutes for a shopping cart to become available, then add another 45 minutes easily for checkout.

There are ways around it, though: I witnessed a man with only some items in a shopping basket. He went straight to the cashier and asked the customer over there if he could go ahead of him. Having a full shopping cart, who would refuse someone who only wants to buy a few items? In other words, he was gracefully allowed to cut in line.

To my surprise, some 5 minutes later, the same guy appeared again with only a few items in his basket and the same scene unfolds. He had chosen another checkout line to avoid anyone recognizing him and sure enough, it worked smoothly.

This was repeated once more in yet another line after which he must have had bought all he wanted because I didn’t see him again. You’ve got to admire the smart Lebanese!