Sunday, March 26, 2006

Blok M

The salespeople here have an interesting technique: they stand right next to you and stare at you while you rifle through the garment racks. Sometimes I realize I'm directing more mental energy toward ignoring the shopworkers than I am toward looking at the actual goods.

Yesterday I encountered an even more dubious strategy. I stopped at a kiosk selling Indian shirts at Blok M. The woman running it immediately came over and said "We have XL!" Then she pulled a few really enormous shirts off the rack and held them up. They don't teach you that one in your Gap training session!

The picture is of some t-shirt salesmen at Blok M. The sign over their heads says "Broken Price!"

Blok M is the biggest market in the city. It's so central, it has its own bus station that all the bus lines go to. It's sort of like a cross between a suburban mall and a tag sale. Basically, they took a whole bunch of street vendors and packed them into a big warehouse-like building. It's a crazy stew of loud pop music, loud Arabic-sounding music, loud people, fried food, cheap clothes, and brightly colored toys from (where else?) China. I didn't even feel much need to shop - just walking around was fascinating.

Of course I did shop, though. I bought a t-shirt with a view of the Manhattan skyline from across the river. The slogan says: "On other side very a nightlife grasp." I couldn't have said it better myself. I think Chad is going to put some other Chinglish (or the Indonesian equivalent) from Blok M on his blog, Indo Stories, which you can link to from the right side of this page.


Hallo Mister said...

Shopping isn't the only thing you can do at Blok M. It's actually more famous for other things ....

KimDonesia said...

I haven't been to Blok M yet, but I'm planning to when I visit Indo again! Though your description of the market PERFECTLY fits Mangga Dua Square - should check it out sometime. It's brilliant... So many cheapies!