The break you badly need is finally here, so you decide to start off your holiday with a bang. It is Tuesday evening and therefore only natural that you round-up your Jazz loving friends, even those who just love booze but feign interest in Jazz. You blast this message on your WhatsApp group, the one with 12 friends reminding you of your CRE lessons: 12 is the number of completeness as represented by the 12 tribes of Israel, 12 sons of Jacob, 12 disciples.. but where’s the completeness in the group when six are spectators? 12 is also a lucky number, but no luck ever seems to come out of this group of 12. Only comic relief.
“Parseen, Kiza anyone?” You click send, right after the hilarious memes on Kisiis and their countless terrifyingly flirtatious poses. Have you guys seen those memes?
“Haiya, kwani today is Tuesday?” Says the life of the group, the one who unfailingly responds to every chat and meme with such unrelenting speed even when she has nothing to say. She will procrastinate on everything but chats. You are almost tempted to type back that it is actually Sunday but thanks to the magic powers you acquired recently, you have teleported your close friends 100 years later to Tuesday 17th, the year 3017.
Anyway, you round-up your quorum and end up at Kiza and what was intended to be a two-hour affair ends up being an all nighter. After all, you don’t know the next time you will be off duty on a weekday. When daylight streams in, you miraculously manage to catch your 7am flight to Hungary or Amsterdam or Johannesburg or London, perhaps even The Gambia, despite having only gotten home at 4am.
Shopping in a foreign country can be excessively overwhelming, at least for me. The first time I went to the UK, I was burning with excitement and could not wait to check out all the brands I knew mostly from thrift stores. You know the likes of Zara, River Island, Dorothy Perkins and H&M. This farm girl from Njoro finally had a chance to own a brand new item from one or all of these stores and I wasn’t going to waste anytime. On the day we landed, our hosts showed us the ropes in the afternoon. Moving around was as easy as having the travel card (oyster card) and a map and one could effortlessly navigate the city. Oxford Street was the place to shop. It was a 2km stretch packed with more stores than all of the Moi Avenue, Two Rivers, Diamond Plaza, and even Toi Market stalls combined.
Once we had properly acclimatised ourselves with the Queen’s backyard, I only had one agenda for day 2. To hit Oxford Street by myself. You can understand how I ended up disappearing in shopping heaven for 12 straight hours and only realised it was 8pm when my phone started buzzing incessantly. My peeps were worriedly trying to track me. I aptly informed them I was fine and carried on “scoring”, a top here, a shoe there. Heck I even got a fascinator, something I have never envisioned my self wearing. After all, I was in the Queen’s land.
The problem with this kind of shopping besides the obvious fact that it is time consuming is that you will almost always buy things you don’t need. Also, it is highly likely that you will not find some of the things that you actually need, despite browsing 50 stores, because it might not be the season for such things. Think of attempting to get blazers and trench coats in summer. It is like trying top get ketchup out of a brand new Heinz bottle. Impossible.
They say experience is the best teacher and I can attest to this adage. When we recently travelled to the UK, I was not going to waste anytime shopping much as I planned on getting myself a few clothing items. Most importantly, I needed an outfit for the wedding that we were to attend. Of course those items were not going to magically appear at our house given that I had no plan of going out in search for them. I also knew that I would be jet lagged and possibly even suffering a hangover on the first day. So, about three weeks before I travelled, I logged on to amazon.co.uk on a random Friday evening and shopped for everything I needed, including this entire outfit that I rocked to the wedding. I had them shipped to our cousin’s house. Upon our arrival, I found them sitting at a corner in the living room all wrapped up and yearning to be set free. The trick is to buy items from renowned stores, or those that are sold by other stores but dispatched from Amazon as that guarantees the quality. If you plan on staying in a hotel, you could indicate your hotel’s address as the point of delivery.
So next time you are travelling, use your precious time to discover sights and restaurants and monuments and let technology at its best handle your shopping. Unless your entire reason for travelling is shopping!
Shoot location: Belvedere Suites, Santorini.