They say you haven't shopped until you do so in a country not your own.
Well, I say you haven't shopped until you have escorted someone from another country through your familiar shopping grounds.
This last week I had the chance to take my four Peruvian friends shopping here in the Springs. What a blast! I have a new appreciation on how we act in their markets and shops after watching my friends in our stores.
First, they wanted to go to a thrift store, so we headed to GoodWill. They ran like children into the store, anxious to see what treasures awaited. They sorted through children's clothing to take home, stuffed animals, books and kicknacks (but they did not buy knicknacks).
Then we went to the mall where the first big challenge was explaining salad dressing to my friend Jose. Our visiting staff know English but some things are easier to explain and grasp than others. After dinner, we started in search of a toy store or doll shop. Along the way, I kept losing one or more of my party into various shops. I was a nervous wreck. While I know our malls are very safe (especially the one we were at) and that there were no crowds, I didn't want to lose one of my friends or having something happen to them.
Finally, we went through Borders (large bookstore for the uninformed). It was the release day for Wess Stafford's book (he Compassion's president) and we thought we would see if they had it. So my four Peruvian friends walk in and accost the staff with "We want Too Small to Ignore by Wess."
Not, by Wess Stafford.
Not, by Dr. Wesley K. Stafford.
Not by Dr. Wesley K. Stafford and Dean Merrill.
Just by Wess.
I was laughing so hard it took a few moments before I could help finish the author's name for the very confused staff.
Sadly, they didn't have it yet. But we made a big enough stink that they hopefully have it out now. I'll be going back in a day or so to check.
After that I took them back to the hotel to catch some z's before the next day's meetings and events. I think they enjoyed their shopping trip. I'm glad I was able to help them like they have helped me when I've visited their country.
And next time you see a shopper that seems a bit confused and has an accent, be kind to them, they may be shopping in a country other than their own. We look pretty silly to them when we go visiting and shopping in their homelands as well!