Duty, but not exactly hassle-free.

What can be worse than mile-long traffic and the insipidly annoying “fah-lah-lah-lah-lah” that seemed to follow us everywhere we go these days?

It’s having to brave the long, frustrating lines while trying to score “tax-free” PX goods on your local duty free.

The little sister just arrived from a four-day seminar held in Malaysia and brilliantly proposed we head out to Duty Free to “check things out”. Because I am raring to get my hands on gummy candies and super sized oatmeal packs and six pack soaps, and maybe a case of corned beef for the house, we all trooped to the local duty free which is about a good PHP200 bucks by cab away from the house.

Upon seeing the long line of vehicles waiting to get inside the premises, I know we are in for an adventure. Inside was pure pandemonium because people just don’t wanna use the chairs prepared by Duty Free for them. Hundreds of people were standing, milling on the small lobby (emphasis on small) while the chairs in front of the counter remained unoccupied. In fairness to Duty Free, the calling of assigned numbers were fast and breezy, and the staff seemed efficient in processing the shoppingeras. It’s the people I don’t get. They mill away and block walk ways and entrance ways while in front of them, chairs were waiting to get filled.

Inside, there no freaking carts because apparently all returning Pinoys and their next and next of kin were burning money that day. In order for you to secure a freaking cart, you had to go outside, past the exit doors and wait for those loading their finished groceries inside their vehicles then you get the carts and lug it inside the duty free — past the exit doors, past the grocery exit and up the rounded thingie leading to the department store. That’s how you get a cart and lose 20 pounds in the process.

Another thing I hate about the local duty free is the building’s lay-out. Honestly, I have to give it to the guy who did the lay-out of the place. Boy, you really have to pass by everything before you get to have your groceries.You have to get pass the booze, the munchies, the perfumes, the shoes, the clothes and the toys (pray you don’t have a kid with you) before you reach grocery. That’s call purchase by temptation. But for someone who just wants to get her supply of huge bottle of Head and Shoulders, it’s just pure torture.

Know what, the thing is–the Duty Free staff is actually doing their best to give good exceptional service in spite the claustrophobic surroundings and the shitty lay-out. The cashiers were quick and very efficient. The guards were helpful and not “in-your-face”. Going home, we were able to get a cab in 15 minutes.

You know what bugged me? The people…my fellow shoppers to be exact. What is it with our f*cked off perceived sense of entitlement that makes us act like morons? People don’t even know how to say excuse me or please or sorry? I don’t care if you’ve been to the US, Japan, Dubai or wherever in the world that may be but if you act like some hot-shot with execrable manners, then you are nothing more than a pile of crap. Just because you earn your money in greenbacks or in some other foreign currency makes you better than any of us. It does not give you any excuse to act high and mighty. It does not give you any excuse to be uncouth or act rude to other people.

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