Shopping Nightmare

Adel Gabot


Spent the weekend doing crazy Christmas shopping—for my brother’s friends and co-workers. Again.

I don’t have that wide a circle of friends and co-workers anymore, not a lot I keep up with anyway, so I just have a few left, and some relatives and loved ones to shop for, but even so, I did all that a lot earlier just to get it out of the way. I hate all the shopping frenzy, the big crowds at the malls, the long lines at the counters and all the lousy traffic, so I do my shopping early so I can just sit pretty during the actual Christmas season.

Little did I know I was going to get roped into it anyway.

My brother invited me to lunch last weekend, and after we ate, he asked if we could go for a little bit of shopping for his officemates and friends. A little? Ok. I wasn’t going to do much that day anyway.

Crap. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.

Then this Friday, I reinstalled everything on his Mac as a favor, and to thank me (and get his computer back), he asked to meet up and treat me to lunch Saturday. Same thing happened—shopping for his co-workers.

Then when I got home, I found that all of the HDMI ports on my trusty old TV refused to work—but I wasn’t sure it was the TV itself that was screwed up. I needed to test that the PS4’s HDMI output hadn’t been the one that borked (in which case I was royally screwed). So I needed to test it out, and figured I could go to his condo unit in Boni and try it out there on his TV the next morning.

So I went yesterday morning and tested it (it wasn’t the PS4, thank God). Before we went for lunch asked me if we could shop one last time for the few straggling, hard-to-find gift items in Greenhills, pretty please.

Greenhills? A couple of weekends before Christmas? That would be the crazy epicenter of all Christmas shopping in the city. Parking alone would be impossible. But again, I was just waiting for word from the printing press about the book, so I wasn’t doing much anyway. I reluctantly said ok, and so we went.

My God. I think we spent close to an hour driving in all that traffic to get to the Greenhills Shopping Center (it was geographically very near, but traffic-wise it might as well be in Timbuktu) and another hour driving around and around inside the packed parking structure looking for a place to park the car.

Then the crowds! Man, it looked as if all of Metro Manila had chosen that day to do their shopping. We had to wade through the rabid crowds.

Nevertheless, we found almost everything we came for, except for a Bluetooth keyboard which was nowhere to be found. I actually had an extra one at home, just sitting there, and in exasperation I offered it to him, and he agreed, so that was that.

We could finally go home. To my busted TV. Sheesh. What a life.


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