Yes, why not? The trail of vendors to the house would include the Chinese Man selling carpets and lace table cloths, the Indian guy with all manner of materials latest from his part of the world, the mak cik selling trinklets and gold accessories, the Mamak Mee goreng and those selling kuehs in the afternoon. They all made a trail to our front door knowing very well that time spent at number 13D, was time well spent as they’d get their returns soon enough.
Pak wasn’t too fussy about what Mak bought: the various coloured tupperwares and pyrex of different sizes and shapes were always useful during kenduris and birthday parties. The carpets made an appearance once or twice a year. Pak only called in the mamak kueh. He never went out, so the vendors came in.
In a way, it was more like having your personal shopping time, without the rush and the dizzying and maddening crowd of Lorong Sempit or Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman.
There’s the usual bargaining tactics. Mak was quite good at bargaining; feigning to be indifferent and most not interested in the wares spread out before her.
The vendors too had their tricks; dropping a name or two of other possible interested parties. Once the transaction was almost done, out came the Buku 555 and a plan of payment was drawn out.
For this raya, I poked my head out of the YM "window" and called out to Nek to see if she had any new items for Raya. I hate shopping and browsing and spending hours in shops in crowded Oxford Street isn’t my idea of a good time. So having Nek come over to my window is certainly the best alternative, without having to leave the comforts of my living room and not upset Snowbell dozing on my lap. All I needed to do was buzz Nek and beckon her over.
“Salam, Nek! Ada apa kali ni Nek?” I asked.
“Eeeeeeeee, Kak Teh! Ada banyak! Cantik-cantik. Ada beg Coach ni. Eloklah pakai untuk hari raya,” she said employing her tried and tested sales tactics.
“Alaaaa, mahal laaa, tak mampu. Tak ada ke yang murah-murah sikit?” I asked.
“Lalalala.....Kalau berkenan Nek boleh bagi discount kat Kak Teh. Ni yang last dah. Kalau tak mau Nek nak hantar balik,” she tried again.
And yes, that did it. I clicked frantically on the page of Coach bags, picked one and closed my eyes and typed – YES!
See how easy that was? And within five days, I was already carrying the brand new bag for my hari raya visits.
Nek has more in store – that was just to whet the appetite. She came back after her LA raya trip with more bags and accessories to tempt me. Again, I had a private viewing session – and needless to say I succumbed to Nek’s sales tactics once more. This time, it wasn’t for me. I bought one bag to be delivered to someone dear in Malaysia as a present. See, no hassles!
If you want to shop around and see other collections of branded goods and accessories, then go to Ninnie’s. There’s no need to worry about parking space or the rush back to beat the traffic jam. Take your time to browse around and your spouse wont even suspect where you've been. Just put on your most serious 'hard at work' look on your face.
Before venturing to Nek's, I went shopping here to get new tudungs for Raya. I am no expert in tying tudungs but these Ezy Peazy Tudungs are a real godsent. I picked a few and had them delivered just in time for raya.
There was one year when I ordered the most delicious fruit cake online.
So, really, there's no reason to get into the rush and come back home tired and worn out. By buying online – the only damage you get is of course to your bank account, which is unavoidable, and also to your manicured nails.
I can almost hear Tok reprimanding me: Bukalah tingkap banyak-banyak, ajak semua orang mai jual itu ini. Pantang tengok orang jual barang!