Shopping is shopping, right? Where things are a little different in Bohol from say shopping in the UK are the rules many department stores implement.
Here in the Bohol the stores are pretty much the same as anywhere in the world, perhaps not as large or with such a wide choice of goods.
It is normal for you to have to show the contents of bags when you enter the Shopping MALL, this, I assume, to offer some deterrent to those who might want to harm us shoppers.
Sometimes the security guards seem to be more interested in what personal belongings you have rather than searching for a bomb, knife or firearms. This is more noticeable when they rifle through women’s handbags.
If you are going to shop here its worth considering that department stores generally do not allow rucksacks or shopping bags to be carried inside the store. I have even bought an item in the store and then been told I cannot re-enter the store with the sealed plastic bag containing my purchase.
They do provide baggage counters where you can leave your bag or other banned items. Bear in mind that packages and bags left at these counter are done so at your own risk.
Store Security Guards can be Mr or Mrs Jobsworth and love to wield their power over us lesser mortals.
When you make a purchase it will be placed in a plastic bag and sealed with selotape, your receipt will also be taped to the outside of the bag.
All electrical appliances are semi tested before you purchase them, this is a good thing as many of the items on sale here appear to be cheapo Chinese imports that are often of a substandard quality.
You will probably be told that there is a very limited warranty on the product and if it breaks even after just a day, will be sent for repair and not replaced. They often state that it will only be repaired or replaced once.
Another practice that I personally find strange is that you cannot on try on white clothing! Now the shop obviously has to protect its products and ensure they are fit for sale. But how the hell can you check if a garment fits without trying it on.
What makes the situation worse is that some of the clothes on sale are already dirty, stained or soiled. It appears to be OK to dump these on the honest shopper, without any form of discount. Want to try on a white blouse for a wedding or christening, forget it.
Obviously rules change between stores and in the more cosmopolitan city of Manila, I am sure they are well and truly in the 21st Century. Here in Bohol however things are a little bit behind the times.
On the whole shopping is a pleasant experience, the store employees are always ready to assist and do so with a friendly smile.
Come and Shop till you Drop in Bohol…