My post-licence driving euphoria did not endure far beyond my teens. These days shopping trips are approached with the same level of enthusiasm as tidying out the plastics cupboard. It’s all about time and its scarcity. Driving in heavy traffic is not the only deterrent as umpteen trips to the mall prove to be fruitless. Shopping for children’s clothing is little short of nightmarish. My son Fjord (age 7) needs pyjamas. We go to the shops, he only likes one print of which there is one left and it’s size 3-4, so we leave empty-handed and he goes to bed in an old T-shirt and shorts. Clothing and shoe shopping with Acacia (age 4) is even more of a trial. She needs shoes. We spot a pair of sparkly Hello Kitty pumps at Woolworths, it’s love at first sight!
You guessed it, the store has every size in abundance except size 10 (her size). You have no idea how often these scenarios play themselves out, small wonder that my aversion to shops and malls has reached current levels. Enter the joyful world of online shopping, which I use more and more. Each time a parcel is delivered I get the same thrill as getting a letter in the post, back when we still wrote letters and had a functioning post office. Online shopping is yet to disappoint, although I hope that I’m not speaking too soon and that my older son’s power bank arrives before his birthday on Thursday.
Now, instead of embarking on a potentially doomed shoe shopping mission with Acacia, which may or may not end in tears, we can visit Woolworths online store. She can look at pictures of all the shoes available and choose the pair she would like me to order in size 10 and a few days later she gets the added thrill of opening a parcel. I am frugal, every expense is weighed up and considered and I prefer not to pay delivery costs, however when they apply, I need to weigh paying delivery costs against the cost of petrol and most importantly the value of my time.
Gift buying is another instance where online shopping is almost the only way to go. I live in Gauteng while most of my family members are in Durban and Cape Town. Before the South African Post Office imploded I could buy a gift and post it, but even then there was the annoyance of having to properly package it, drive to the Post Office and of course pay for postage. Now before my niece’s birthday, I can simply go online, choose the Sofia Swimming Costume from Woolworths online store, pay for it, and it’s delivered directly to her. What a pleasure!
In a decade or so, I wonder how many monstrous shopping malls will be empty shells? Planning should begin regarding re-purposing them.
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