The global madness that is Black Friday came to Kitwe for the first time this year. What all the hype is for, I have no idea. Every jolly retailer hopped on the bandwagon with Black Friday posters and advertising and I’m guessing two thirds of the entire population was at Mukuba Mall first thing on Friday morning.
As if the front of Shoprite wasn’t busy enough, they had to heap their insipid cordial special by the tills too.
I was flabbergasted to pull into a parking lot so crowded that I had to park on the fa-a-a-ar side of things. I had no appointments booked for the day, simply wished to do some grocery shopping and did not expect the mall to be as chaotic as the day it first opened. ‘Oh well,’ I thought, ‘I don’t have anything else to be doing and I need stuff for the weekend.’ I walked into Shoprite and the first thing that hit me was not one single available trolley. Every single one of their mostly shitty trolleys were in use, even the ones with frozen wheels; very entertaining to watch people determinedly dragging them about. I walked back out into the parking lot to trolley hunt and was lucky to bump into a security guard returning a trolley, and more amazing still, the wheels functioned.
Inside was utter chaos. The front side of the aisles were blocked by queues, the back side of the aisles were blocked by people waiting with trolleys for the forager of the family to return with goods and doddery shoppers struggling with stuck trolley wheels. It was like shopping in hell, and only slightly cooler. Quite honestly, the prices were pretty much what they always are and so the whole hysterical shopping mania didn’t make any sense. I wavered as to whether I should just give up on my mission and go home, but then I had obtained 3 bags of tomato flavoured Fritos which the hubby loves and which I only spot on the shelves about every six months or so. It’s one of those Rare Finds in Shitwe, which people from civilization cannot relate to. Summoning up my last bit of determination I left my precious trolley half laden in the vinegar and salad dressing aisle (clearly the least popular judging by the lack of foot traffic) and elbowed my way down aisles for the last few items which I carried in my arms back to the trolley.
I got lucky queuing as well, making a beeline for the opposite end of where the queues were at their craziest and managed to make it to about fifth in a queue. Being nudged and bumped and asked to move a few times, I was in the queue less than half an hour which was less time than I had expected. As I exited the shop I was approached by a lady who said, “Madam, when you are finished with that trolley, may I please have it?”
“Well, of course, but I’m parked on the fa-a-a-ar side,” I replied, waving my hand in the general direction of the fa-a-a-ar parking lot. “It’s a long walk.”
“No matter,” she shrugged and followed me all the way to my car.
I don’t know if the rumours of fights over trolleys were true or not, but I wouldn’t say unimaginable. Next year on Black Friday, I resolve to stock up on Thursday and stay home.