Started your Christmas shopping yet? The Robinson Mall and other shopping centers in the Philippines have been playing Christmas music since early September. The PH has the longest Christmas season in the world, starting the first of September all the way through January. My asawa is pressing for us to buy a Christmas tree, but again, I say like any Cub's baseball fan (which I'm not), "wait until next year." This will be our third Christmas without one, but we'll survive. In my opinion, it's more important to divert our funds to buying that new television.
I've noted in a previous post that I've managed to render our old TV totally useless as a source of entertainment. It has now been recycled and serves as one of our fancier end tables in our sparsely furnished new rental home. Cardboard boxes from our move serve as our other end tables. I have true redneck pride.
I foolishly asked my asawa the other day what she would like to do. With no mindless television programming to watch and since she had all of her housework done, I suggested we do some Christmas shopping even though we have limited funds. She declined, but within a span of less than 60 seconds decided we could go to Robinson Mall in Iloilo City if I did not have anything I had to do.
I suppose I could stop playing a new free online RPG (Role Playing Game) on "Addicting Games" for awhile where I go around different worlds smashing monsters so I said "sure, let's go" with about as much conviction as a inmate being led down Death Row corridor for the last time would utter. But she bought it. One hour later we were hopping on a jeepney to Robinson. Only a one jeepney ride versus the usual two jeepney trek to SM City so we saved a whopping four pesos (nine cents.)
Grabbed a quick meal of Orange Chicken for 79 pesos (1.83 US Dollars) at Chowking and before the crowds started to fill the mall. It was a national holiday in the Philippines, November 30 being Bonifacio Day, in honor of Philippine's national hero, Andrés Bonifacio's birthday, November 30, 1863. There already was a line at the Well-fed Red Bee's joint, and the asawa preferred the Chowking "cuisine," so we filled our bellies and started walking around the Robinson Mall.
Began our Christmas shopping in the Robinson Department Store, where the sales associates rarely greet you as they do at SM City, but I don't mind. Sometimes I can't even walk into an Ace Hardware or Toy Kingdom at the SM in Iloilo without being hounded by sales personnel. I have to be honest, sometimes it's annoying, and I'll just walk out of the store loudly announcing to my embarrassed asawa that I don't like to be followed all around a store when I'm trying to shop. I know. The Ugly American. Sue me.
Never had that problem at any Walmart in the States. You'd be lucky to find an associate there let alone have one following you to see if they could help you. And do you know those all-night stockers they have that don't get out of your way? No problem with that in the Philippines. The employees are always excusing themselves and making way for the customer. Imagine that. Good customer service. Being polite and helpful to the people that actually are responsible for you ultimately being paid a salary. What a novel concept!
My wife was on the hunt for a new purse. I'd personally would rather just have my fingernails pulled out one by one than go purse hunting with my aswasa, but I remind myself that it was my suggestion to go out to do something today. Purse shopping wasn't on the list. So I decided to just go with the flow and take some pictures like the one below. My wife liked the purse but didn't buy it. There were far too many other places at the mall to check out before making such an important decision. I'm glad I don't have to carry a purse. Why should I? If I have some extra stuff to bring along, I just ask my spouse to carry it in her bag.
So we made some more stops in the search for the perfect purse. What better way to make use of our Christmas shopping time. My asawa finally gave up (for that day) and decided to purchase a new shirt at the Dickies store which had a 70% off sale. I took the following two pictures. Since my wife hates it when I take a picture of her backside, I followed up with the second photo. I didn't get to be almost 60 years old by being stupid all the time. Just most of the time. If there are those male readers out there who believe I merely took the first picture to get a photo of a cute Filipina other than my asawa, I have no idea what you are talking about.
The Robinson Mall was becoming quite crowded, and I was getting anxious. Don't like the crowds. We stopped by CDR KING and discovered that, as popular American expat and star commentator Gary Wigle told us, they do carry 32" LCD televisions for P11,500 (265 USD) even though the CDR employee at the SM City location told us that none of the four stores in Iloilo City carried television sets, only the Manila outlets. We didn't have the funds to make the purchase, plus I had just made an earlier trip in the week to the Imperial Appliance Store (thanks to Paul from Iloilo for that tip) in downtown Iloilo which was having a sale. There's a possibility we may be buying our set from Imperial.
Stopped by at Chowking again so my spouse could get her favorite halo-halo while I drank some Coke. Had my staff photographer take my picture by this kiosk while I tried in vain to explain to the sales girl what "weekend warrior" meant back in America. We hopped on a jeepney back home and paid 14 pesos (32 cents) total for our shuttle ride home from our subdivision entrance to our house (it's almost a 30 minute walk, and I was already tired) and settled in for an evening of meaningful conversations with my asawa. We just have to get that new TV!