Today I witnessed, and was in fact a part of, the Japanese phenomenon: バーゲンセール (bargain sale).
There’s a sort of supermarket-cum-department store down my street, and it’s closing down soon. Today, they had a massive bargain sale, and I sort of stumbled upon it.
I just went in for some bananas and milk, and thought I’d have a little browse around the other floors too. But I soon realised as I rode the escalator that today was no ordinary day! On every floor there were hundreds of people, customers and staff. And the staff were all shouting things out, mostly irashaimase (いらしゃいませ) (welcome), but also lots of sales banter and bargain offers.
The scariest, but most exciting floor was the womens’ clothes department. There were so many staff, and not only were they all shouting at the same time – they were also clapping! And… there were some staff, men, who seemed to be employed to pick a garment off the rack and hold it high whilst yelling stuff out about it! I’ve never seen anything like it – it was quite overwhelming!
But I survived the madness, and escaped with four summer tops for £11 – bargain indeed!
The supermarket part of the shop was even more insane. I might actually have bruises on my legs from being rammed with trolleys and baskets… (if this was England I would have yelled a few things at the rude people!)
Most of the shelves were half empty, and staff were frantically running about moving things up and clearing things away. I eventually made it to the bananas, and also found some milk, but it was unbelievable in there! I picked up a few other bargains along the way, and then realised that all the queues were like a mile long! But I had no choice really, so I picked a queue and stood there, watching all the insane bargain hunters pushing and shoving and looking for cheap food. I don’t even know what half the stuff on sale was!
And that was my Golden Week. From koi carp flags, to LA… and Inuyama to bargain sales. 😀