Friday, March 15, 2013

The chicken choir - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Look at those nice dresses
Just a few seconds after I've entered a clothing shop someone yells something that I don't understand, some other guy repeats the same thing, then it's a lady's turn and after that many other voices overlap. It seems that they are all shouting the same sentence: "Welcome to Uniqlo!". Yeah, sure, that's exactly what they are saying, and as I am the only one who's just entered the place they must necessarily be talking to me. Gosh, what a silly prank. In order to clear any doubt I turn towards the entrance and watch what happens next. Another customer gets in, an employee spots him and shouts: "Welcome to Uniqloooooo!" He's done it with a pseudo-nice tone which actually turns out to be irritating. It's as if he were focusing more on his performance than on the greeting itself, thus making the gesture not only insincere but ridiculous as well. His colleagues, who are all busy hanging shirts or folding t-shirts, hear him and repeat the sentence, parrot-like, without taking their eyes off what they are doing, using random techniques such as falsetto, trilling, rising and falling. They are using the old dazing-sales-technique, but it feels like being back at kindergarten again, or rather to have entered an tropical aviary.
I am here just to buy some decent and reasonably priced polo shirts: I flew into Kuala Lumpur directly from the Philippines with a bag full of t-shirts that are good for the beach and I need something decorous to wear at the training center. I wander about the shelves and every ten seconds I'm overwhelmed by a new burst of their squawking. There is also a customer-leaving-the-shop version of the show. Only the expression changes: "See you again!" Everything else remains the same: the absentminded air, the word of mouth technique and that ridiculous tone. The bigger the client's shopping bag the noisier the poultry becomes. It is all very irritating, almost embarrassing. As if that was not enough, this store doesn't have any polo shirts. By contrast the shelves are full of sweaters and hoodies. Come on. In a tropical country you should sell polo shirts and t-shirts, not mid-season clothing...what the hell!
I don't quite like this young-fashion store-chains. I took a look at some Gap, Guess, Esprit shops as well, and others whose names I forgot: they all sell low quality stuff, so pretentious that it actually ends up looking funny. I don't understand how they manage to be so successful, if it was for me they would go bankrupt within two or three seasons. Just give me a pair of decorous, or at least usable trousers, a shirt that doesn't resemble an middle age armour or a table doily, no laces, embroideries, nets or voiles and finally a pair of shoes, possibly foot-shaped. As far as I am concerned you can recycle everything else.
I manage to get out without being noticed, tailing after a buffoon with a hair-crest, big shades, chains and three big bags full of newly purchased junk that is making all the farmyard chickens go crazy. They didn't give a damn about me. I've managed to fool them! Well, so to always depends on the point of view. 

PS if you need a decorous 100% cotton polo shirt you can go to a Zara store, where they also sell lots of trash that would make a clown go sad.

No comments: