Sunday, 17 August 2008


I thought I had foreseen everything. Here are some of the things we have been obliged to buy:

  • Dustbins
  • Cutlery trays
  • Printer paper
  • Rubber gloves
  • Toothbrush mugs
English salespeople are not very helpful. We looked up cutlery trays on the Homebase web page and found one that would fit our kitchen drawers, which are of different size. The tray in the web catalogue was expandable, just perfect. In the store, which is intimidating, I go around browsing, while Staffan asks an assistant. First, she doesn’t know what we are talking about, then she goes to check and is away for five minutes, only to come back and say that the trays are out of stock, and anyway, they don’t have the size we need. Staffan is in rage and refers to the web page. The assistant says she can order one; it will only take four to five weeks. I tug at Staffan’s sleeve. Two rows from the help desk I find the trays. I beg Staffan not to ask anyone for rubber gloves.

Next we go to a large electrical supplies store. I have given up on my Swedish telephone. Something needs to be adjusted, and although our nice neighbour has kindly given me the correct kind of cable and the phone is apparently alive, it still doesn’t work. So we decide to invest in a new phone. There is everything imaginable in the store, and Staffan asks the closest assistant: “Do you have telephones?” “No, I am afraid we don’t”. In the next row, we find phones.

I wonder whether this is a male and female way of dealing with shopping. According to Staffan, men don’t shop, they make purchases.

No comments: