One of the things I like about Indonesia is the politeness of the sales promoter or shop assistants. From the high-end super malls like Grand Indonesia to the modest shop lots in ITC Kuningan, you'd find that the sales promoters are very attentive, ever willing to serve you and most importantly polite.
But of course, there are some bad apples among them but as far as I'm concerned, its rare.
Here in Indonesia, you can try on clothes without the unecessary pressure to purchase them rightafter. You can simply walk out the store without being verbally hurled at by the shop assistant.
That only happens in Malaysia.
Go and try on a few clothes in a shop in KL and you'd either find the sales promoter putting on the ugliest frown you've ever seen or worse, they'd make some nasty remarks. But before that, they'd trail you all over the shop as though you're a potential shoplifter.
That's why I love window shopping in Jakarta. The key phrase here is window shopping because heyy... I don't get paid thousands of USD a month ok.
But then, there are times when you feel intimidated by the presence of a sales promoter next to you. One good example is when buying your underwear.
I was in Sogo recently in the men's undies section. As usual, my mind gets confused when presented with a lot of choice before me.
Shall it be cotton or lycra? Or combination of lycra and cotton? Or modal? What the hell is modal? (but it feels strangely nice)... Sports brief or just brief? Boxer brief or plain boxer? Or maybe tanga... but wait, there's contour brief.. hmmm.
While the above was running through my head, a sales promoter was all the while standing a couple of feet away watching me.
Pehal la minah ni. I can manage to choose my own underwear, thank you. Really, you don't have to stand there waiting for me to seek for your assistance.
Besides, what am I supposed to ask her? Is lycra or cotton more comfortable for the family jewels? Or, would she be able to answer which type of undies would best suit a particular "parking" orientation? Kannn......
For you ladies out there, just imagine if a male sales promoter is stationed at the bra section, wouldn't you feel intimidated? I don't think the male sales promoter would be able to provide any help on questions related to bra, unless he is a drag queen by night.
In the end, I politely told the sales promoter that I do not need her assistance. And she left me alone.
Heyy... when it comes to a crucial thing such as choosing the right underwear, I need a clear mind to help in the decision making ok.