Thursday, 20 October 2011

the 24hr shopping paradise

There is a store here on our tiny little red dot of an island that has become a must visit place for all tourists and locals alike.  It stocks just about everything one can imagine.  From electronics, gadgets, sportswear, gold jewelery, every grocery item imaginable, sporting goods, toiletries, perishables, the list is endless.
Too good to be true..... yes!
What you get for 24hr shopping for everything is crowds and chaos.  Chaos not by the crowds, but by the store itself.  It has expanded over the years and now covers one street length of a few floors of shopping (dis)pleasure.
The aisles are narrow, the stock is badly displayed, there is hardly any room to manoeuvre yourself, let alone a trolley.  The checkout counters are spread all over the store at odd locations and leave no room for anyone to line up or even know which way to face.  They treat each customer as a potential shoplifter.  However I must say that customer service has improved tremendously, now you can actually get a response from the staff on where to find things!  Seriously though, they have improved, they are now sullen but polite.
Always go there when you aren't in a hurry or hungry.  That way you won't feel too stressed when trying to negotiate the narrow aisles and crowds.  That way you also can stroll in your own world and marvel at the range of  sardines they stock, and the amazing amount of Indian spices and curry powders.  Ignoring the chaos and mess, and when I am in a good mood, I actually love going there to look for interesting canned goods and spices from all over the world. Looking for a gag gift for a loved one, they stock an interesting array of "decor" items that make you want to buy it and give it as a present just to see the look on the receivers face!
I was there yesterday, had a ball in the new section as it wasnt very crowded.  However it didnt have all the items I needed, I still had to ask for the popadum section and was told  that I had to go over to the old building.  I think I did stare at the man dumbfounded for a whole minute, but resigned to my fate, I trekked back to the old section and again had a blast looking at the variety of items.  I did leave with more than I went there for, even if I did make a list. 
So forget the lists, forget the fact that the customer is always right and head to our tourist attraction in Syed Alwi road and marvel at the store that is Mustaffas!

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