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The Ugly Side Of Shopping In The East

By Pearl Bullivant on January 13, 2013 in Other

Photo: Dee Pressing

There’s nothing like the clean slate of a New Year upon which to impart yet another column of valuable etiquette advice for the affluent Eastern Suburbs reader. And there’s very little like the hysteria of post-Christmas retail sales to bring out the very worst in the Eastern Suburb shopper, those people who make shopping hell when I’m on a mission to buy my groceries or a floral swim cap.

So this month, as well as joining Gina Rinehart’s call for an ‘exclusive economic zone’ – not so that I can avoid tax and exploit foreign workers but so I can shop in harmony without the palaver of the ‘Westfield Experience’ – I’m also outing those people whose manic behaviour is induced by underground car parks, Apple product launches, Fitness First and fast food; those people who have adopted shopping as a recreational activity, i.e. the bored middle class for whom shopping is a family outing or something to do before collecting the kids from their private school; those people who need a bit of guidance in how to behave when confronted by the latest fluoro fashions or after ingesting too many lattes.

Here are just a few of the offenders:

The Travelator Malingerer – No wonder Australia lags behind Asia in the productivity stakes when a portion of our population is quite happy to waste precious time standing on a moving footway, staring into space, mesmerised by the thought of hammering one’s credit card or stuffing one’s face in the food hall directly below. Travelators are not escalators. Walk on them, for Christ’s sake, unless you have a trolley laden with groceries (in which case, move to the left and let me through) or you are infirm. And don’t get me started on those malingerers who hang out at the top of escalators waiting for something to happen.

The Lift Loiterer – Lift loiterers are identifiable by their fashion statements – the designer gym wear, the LV handbag, a post workout takeaway latte and the absolute need to park the Range Rover as close as possible to the lift well so as not to work up a sweat and ruin the carefully applied makeup before entering the gym. I don’t understand the psyche of those people who pay a small fortune to maintain their social x-ray physiques but are too lazy to expend energy getting to Fitness First.

The Car Park Menace – If you are stuck in a line of traffic at Eastgardens (usually around the ‘Parking with Prams’ area) you are probably waiting for a Car Park Menace, those annoyingly lazy people who have to park as close as possible to Westfield’s entrance despite the plethora of parking spots available a bit further away. It would actually be quicker to walk from an available parking spot than idle the 4WD in waiting, but the Car Park Menace is quite happy to idle away precious time whilst infuriating those behind them. Car Park Menaces also come in the form of Yummy Mummies who are determined to park their Euro 4WDs in spots more suited to small cars and have no qualms in taking up two spots or scratching a car door in the process.

The Able Bodied Gopher Driver – Until recently I had not seen this ‘phenomenon’ outside of LA and Mexico, where able-bodied, wealthy, grand dames in their late 60s utilise gophers to get around airports and shopping centres. Why get the C Class out of the Woollahra garage when one can save petrol and drive a gopher up to Bondi Junction, terrorising pedestrians before parking it outside David Jones and spending an hour hardcore shopping?

Anyway, I’m off to shop on the Internet whilst incurring the wrath of Gerry Harvey!

Pearl xx