Friday, October 30, 2009

Been Shopping

What with Hallowe'en, various other holidays in the offing, and the possibility that Mr. Muscato will jet off and see the relatives over the next few weeks, we decided that yesterday was a good time for another trip out to the One Rial Store at the edge of town.

While he shopped for gifts, I as usual cruised the aisles looking for local color (no, not in that way, and get your mind out of the gutter, you).

Even if we were not as on previous expeditions threatened with poxes or terrifying quasi-medical devices, I and my trusty crappy cell-phone cam did observe a few things of possible interest...

For instance, that even here on the edge of the Arabian peninsula, thousands and thousands of miles from the nearest Walmart, we're not immune from that dreaded seasonal plague, Christmas Creep. I mean, what's with the tinsely decorations? It's not even Eid al-Adha yet!

As always, the toy department proved a festival of tragic knockoffs and too-inventive packaging. This little Blythe-Bratz mutation looked especially grotesque even in the low company she's keeping. As for her tag line... well, haven't we all, somewhere along the line, met that special someone whose lips light up when he/she/it phonates?

The fragrances wall - and a massive one it is, too - is a veritable carnival of trademark infringement. You can learn all sorts of things, for at least as long as you can hold your breath (this is one pungent aisle). For example, that Dolce is apparently a goner, with his former partner having, it would seem, taken up with a relative...

Herewith, the latest offering from that talented designer, Galvin Klein. Also on offer were coveted brands like 121 Men, Fahrenheat, Darkker Noir, Pollo (could it possible be chicken-scented?), Kool Water (now in Menthol?), and, in its distinctive plaid packaging, Bruberry. Also something especially vile called Very Sensual Man, which might be the case only if you find kerosene a turn-on.

This little offering achieves a very rare thing indeed - even as the lowest rung of tacky tat wrung from the sweatshops of Asia, and priced to move at the equivalent of less than $1.50, it is less vulgar and squalid than the phenomenon for which it was named or any of his licensed products.

And in that, somehow, perhaps there's a lesson for us. I'd come up with what it is, exactly, but it's going to be a long while before I recover from the fumes...


  1. if i had a local branch, my holiday shopping would be complete!

  2. I'm with Norma. I'd kill for that collection of knock off fragrances. What great gifts they would make!

  3. Hello, I have been reading your blog for a while and just love it.

    Where is the store? (Blind guess: Ruwi?)

  4. Well, hello there, A - may I call you A? - and welcome. The shop is actually out past the Mall - 2 exits I think. It's called Ramez Centre, and it rocks, in a very low end kind of way.

    For more madness, there's also the Japanese 600-Baiza shop in Ruwi - you turn right at the Spice Village sign as you're heading away from the once-and-future Sheraton. It's called Daiso, and it can be truly surreal...