Sunday, December 2, 2012

Black Saturday

The day comes only once a year. Once a year a crowd of eager shoppers lines up outside the gate, breaking into cheers and chants when the store manager accidentally pokes his head out the door. Once a year, cars pull into the store parking lot on a Saturday with anticipation of actually shopping on a weekend. Once a year children flock to the toy section, squealing with the delight at the never-before-seen possibilities. What is this once-a-year spectacular event, you ask?

Once a year comes the Ukarumpa Store Christmas Sale! (And this year, our Black Saturday fell immediately after your Black Friday…or kind of simultaneously, because of the time difference.)

This year, my roommate Melissa, my friend Jude, and I trekked to the Store, camera in hand, ready to document and laugh at the tongue-in-cheek craziness of Ukarumpa’s Black Saturday. After all, where else will you get such entertainment on a weekend morning?

Like all good shoppers, we arrived before it opened:

We bickered with fellow people standing in line

And we even demonstrated our fervor by attempting the fence!

Soon the doors opened, and with a cry of delight, the crowd surged forward, ooing and awing at the sparkly tinsel and peppy holiday music that assailed our senses (more than making up for the store’s closure the day before!).

In the back warehouse, Santa-capped employees had worked hard to arrange the vast treasures that had recently arrived from overseas shipments. This sale is the one time a year that more “fancy” items, such as certain electronics or household decorating items arrive in our store. And thus, there was the wall-clock table, the art supplies table, the pile of decorative pillows and various towels, and even a wall of electronics. We had kitchen supplies and some jars of Christmas mince, new light fixtures, a collection of candles, and even some gardening tools!

The kids, of course, raced for the back loading dock, where there was a stuffed animal table, a ball table, and even a model airplane collection!

When the items were initially purchased in Australia or the US, cost was a careful consideration…but sometimes duty, customs, and shipping charges can bump the numbers up into stratospheric price tags. I find the outrageous prices part of the entertainment, such as K96 (about $48 USD) for the set of five oval highlighters, each no larger than my thumb, the K129 (about $65 USD) wall clock, or the K500 (about $250 USD) coffee maker!

After my friends and I had finished perusing the diverse selection of goodies, we each made our purchases (one item each…we were quite prolific, as you can tell!), and then, like any other shopper out on the town, settled down for some post-shopping tea.

We even got a glimpse of Santa!

And that was how Black Saturday kicked off our Christmas Holidays!