Saturday, March 28, 2009
There is something so fun and quaint about shopping at markets. Pottering about picking up peaches and hand made oven mits, fresh cakes made by old ladies ... but then there is the annoying side of market shopping.
Where we live we are lucky to have a local market on every single weekend. One week it is the farmers produce market, then we have the general market that has all sorts from second hand clothes to fresh satay chicken, we also have an arts and crafts market and then another general market.
My mum and I go to at least one a week, we can walk there and it is a really nice weekend activity. Today I bought some fruit and a little knitted trinket for my daughter. My issue with markets is the browsing factor.
It is hard to browse. In a regular store I have no qualms about picking something up, looking at the price and then walking out because I think it is too expensive. IN a market I find that really awkward. Often the items don't have price tags so you have to ask the price. Then if it is too expensive you feel embarrassed to smile and walk off so if you are like me you then feel the need to make some awkward small talk and often conjure up some lame excuse as to why you can't buy it. Usually this gets you into even deeper water because they might respond -oh don't worry I have the next size down here under the basket. What do you say then?
Ummmno actually I was lying. That isn't too small it's just overpriced. I would never spend that kind of money on that item that you have poured your home made heart and soul into...
I hate it. I feel dreadful. Because market stalls are usually run by owners who have not only produced the items they have usually done it out of passion and love. Not just some weekend job to make pocket money, they tend to enjoy talking about their wares.
I then find it hard to walk away without showing some interest and then I feel compelled to buy something and then we have the above scenario. Plus because markets stalls are usually just tables under tents with the goods on the tables if you are looking at the goods you tend to end up face to face with the seller and this can also be awkward if the stall is empty. I feel really bad for looking and not liking! Take today for example I noticed three stalls that I wanted to check out. The one in the middle was empty.
The seller was sitting there looking very smiley and hopeful. She was wearing one of her own hand made aprons and she looked very eager. The two on either side of her had so many customers that it was hard to see exactly what they were selling. So me being me, I felt sorry for her so I went in to her stall. I immediately saw it wasn't really what I was after but I felt I at least owed her a proper look. She started talking. And talking. And talking. If only I'd had my baby on my hip I could have used her as an excuse to escape. Alas I'd left her with my husband at home.
I felt I needed to examine her things since she was nattering on about the fabrics etc. Then I ran out of small talk and asked the price. ARGGGHHH are you crazy lady. So over the top! I didn't know what to say so I smiled and said "oh, that's great." great for who? Some poor Japanese tourits> Can't think of anyone else who'd be roped into paying that for a bloody apron... Anyway I said -I'll have to get going now I should buy my fruit and veges first then I'll be back.
My excuse made no sense at all. Why would you get the heavy items and then the light item on your way out? Ughh what is wrong with me? I am such a George Costanza. Who else could possibly make a lovely trip to the market so awkward?!