I just recently visited Liege for the third time since I started living in Maastricht, and for the first time, I really got to see how charming and quirky this city is. So you might ask, what exactly did I do the first two times I went?
Simple: I was shopping at Primark.
I am not the biggest fan of shopping, as I constantly like to point out. I will only go to a store when I absolutely need something and usually do not buy things on impulse, because well I’ve learned that being impulsive is not usually a good thing.
You see, Primark is one of those shops that seems to carry everything your heart desires at incredibly low prices, therefore encouraging you to buy whatever you think is pretty and/or fits.
Unfortunately, you need to possess some kind of super power to weave your way through the stands and the people. You also need a lot of patience because there is no way you will avoid waiting to get into the dressing room or the cash register.
During all the times I’ve been there, people seem to have lost their common sense: grabbing anything in sight, pushing and shoving if they can’t get what they want, dumping what they don’t like onto the floor, and giving each other weird looks if they try to cut ahead or grab that last piece in a particular size, all while the PA system is screaming for personnel to clean up the mess or take care of a situation.
Yes, Primark does have some nice things, especially if you tend to go through clothes quickly, but there are a number of things that baffle me about this whole experience.
First of all, is cheap clothing really worth losing your nerves and humanity? I mean there are so many things worth fighting for in this world and all you would rather be doing is spend several hours of your life in a shop, investing all that energy which could easily be placed elsewhere?
Second, what happened to individuality? If everyone is shopping at Primark, doesn’t that increase the chances that we end up looking like clones? No matter how much of your own style you try to add to something, there’s still that little element that keeps sneaking up. And come on, it’s not like there’s a shortage of stores that one can visit.
Third, even with that 8 article limit, how can you spend so much time in a dressing room?! What exactly are you doing in there? From years of shopping, I know that it really doesn’t take that long for you to decide if an item looks good or not. If more people can exercise their judgement based on comfort rather than appearance, the waiting lines would be so much shorter.
But I guess the store owners aren’t complaining. Sure, it’s more work for them, but the influx is huge! I can only imagine how much profit they’re making at the end of the day.
A final point in my rant is the impulsive shopping thing. It’s often been the case that I’ve gone to Primark with friends, and after making several rounds of the store, their shopping baskets are full to the brim, until they remember that they’ve got monthly budgets to stay within. This is where we start going through the things we’ve gotten, tossing out all those impulse choices, ending up with about a quarter of the original contents.
It’s quite funny when it happens, but also increasingly frustrating because imagine what would’ve happened if you had actually paid for these things and took them home…
Well, I don’t want to imagine.
So once again I ask, is it really worth it?!