By Jonna Simon
IS it only me, who always seems too late or too unlucky for that special bargain? There are sales signs plastered all over the shop and I choose a blue pullover for my husband.
“No, I’m sorry, madam, but as you can see in this corner, it says ‘part sale’. We are not offering discounts on the pullovers!”
“The shirts?” “Yes, Madam, full discounts, er, but not the ones with long sleeves… they are part of our new winter stock and not in the sale!” So, the shirts on sales are no good for me, as my husband prefers long sleeved shirts, so no bargain… again.
My friend was visiting from abroad and wanted to buy gold… “Isn’t it cheap in the Gulf?” “Oh, yes, this is the place to buy gold,” I admitted.
When we arrived in the Gold Souk, I noticed, there was a dearth of national ladies shopping. Always a bad sign, as they always seem to know when the gold prices are right.
“Yes, madam, you should have been here two weeks ago, gold is quiet high this week!”
Supermarket special offers seem to work for most people with a discerning eye for a bargain. True to form, I haul home buy-one-get-two-free tins of soup or baked beans only to realise weeks later, when found at the back of the food cupboard, they are out of date and have to be thrown away.
You go along to look at some of the new apartments and villas sprouting up all over the Gulf region from Dubai to Ras Al Khaimah, Doha and Bahrain. A friend has explained to you: “After I bought an apartment, within weeks of signing the contract, someone offered me 100,000 more for the place… it’s like having an open cheque!”
“Hello, yes, I’m interested in your development. No, I want to purchase an apartment as an investment. I don’t understand, what do you mean that was the old days? You recommended I should wait, as there are too many owners trying to sell second-owner flats now and that it is cheaper for new owners to buy directly from you!”
“Hello, I won a free weekend at your hotel in the recent draw. My husband and I would like to stay at your hotel this weekend. You are fully booked? I should try next weekend!”
Message on the recorder on your phone. “Hi, mother-in-law, this is your son-in-law… you have just won the lottery… we are sharing ten pounds, you got three right. Bye.”
My husband rushes into the lounge. “I’ve just seen one of our 18th century teapots sold for 300 quid on the Antiques Road show. Apparently you just have to check to make sure, it is an original… what does it say on the bottom? Minton, great! Wait – Reject?... oh!”
And is it only me, who is given a bunch of flowers only to see the petals starting to fall off and the leaves become droopy on the second day, despite the powdery stuff from the shop, which I diligently put into the water of the vase?
Sometimes, it feels, as if we are jinxed. We arrived back from a trip to Australia recently. My husband sent the films, which had been given to him by a photographer friend, to the local photo processing shop. All the prints came back with a blue tinge, i.e. useless. “How old was the film, dear?” “About two years!”
But the pullover did fit and was appreciated, my friend found the most gorgeous Italian-designed gold necklace, we decided, we can wait for the lottery win, I liked the teapot anyway and did not want to sell it and my better half has just bought me another bunch of flowers!
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.