I'm feeling weary this evening.
I stopped by Country Road at Bondi Junction shortly after 9.00 this morning where they were holding the first day of a three days sale offering 30% and then a further 10% off that price on all purchases. The men's wear section was packed with people (mostly women) rifling through the men's clothing. I quickly selected a few T shirts and joined what was a pretty long queue for the cash register so early in the morning. There appeared to be plenty of staff accepting payments but the queue still moved at less than snail's pace.
I joined the queue at a point adjacent to the store's doors and my ears were assailed by the constant screech of the security alarms. I assumed the alarms were being set off by the security tags attached to our intended purchases as we stood in close proximity to the security readers.
But I couldn't work out why the queue was moving so slowly. Then I noticed that the staff were writing out credit card purchases by hand and using that old swipe machine system I haven't seen in years. It seems the computerised link to the Card Authorisers was down.
This was not the only difficulty. More than half the purchasers ahead of me had to return to the registers after their purchases had been completed because rogue tags still attached to some of their purchases were setting the alarms off as they attempted to leave the store. These people were buying so many items that the staff were failing to identify all the tags on their purchases.
To say I was having fun in that queue would be an overstatement. To add to my discomfort, half the women in the queue were pushing prams. These prams were proving unwieldy in the crowds and adding to the general sense of chaos.
I spent closer to half an hour than fifteen minutes in that queue and was glad to be out of the store (without further setting off any alarms) once my purchase was finalised.
Having survived that ordeal I ventured into Borders to look for a couple of books. Thankfully it was much quieter there and I was able to select and pay for two books without the noise and ado I had experienced at Country Road. Even so, whilst waiting for service at Borders I noticed the aftermath of a serious accident right outside the store. A bus had knocked down a woman in the street and she was being treated on the roadway with two ambulances and a hoard of spectators in attendance.
I made a comment about the accident scene to the young man processing my purchase. I had to repeat myself three times because he was wearing headphones (apparently listening to music) and could not hear me. He was totally unaware of the accident until I mentioned it even though it was right alongside where he was positioned.
From Bondi Junction I drove across to Broadway Centre to meet up with Kn for lunch. We tend to have our lunches there or at a small centre across the road during his lunch break from his job at nearby Sydney University.
(Broadway Centre today.)
The crowds were building at Broadway too and we had our lunch across from the centre where three 'hole in the wall' type Asian food outlets are located. We could choose from Vietnamese, Chinese or Thai and today we both selected from the Vietnamese outlet. In truth, the three outlets have similar menus despite their cuisine differences and my selection (Singapore Noodles with Chicken) was available at all three.
I enjoy lunching with Kn. I can be completely open with him about what is happening in my life and my mind. We usually update each other on our respective love lives, a report which rarely requires much time on my part. Kn, in his mid forties, is more active than I am but I was interested to realise that he too now is slowing down.