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Being a student has its advantages. It means you can get discounts on the cinema, high teas, restaurants; basically all the things that you are not able to afford on a student budget anyway. However, there is a huge downside to being a student too. The main drawback is time. It always seems to fly when there is a deadline coming up or when you just want to sleep a little bit longer, but time ticks away slowly when you are waiting for a party to go to.
I must say, I do not have these moments very often when time when time seems to go slow. Not that I don’t go to any parties, more that during my “waiting time” I am usually quite busy trying to finish other things. One exception to this time-never-seems-to-go-slow-for-me phenomenon is having to wait untill the end of the semester to be able to travel. And yes, we have a week off sometimes during the semester, but spending a week somewhere does not leave the same impression as spending a month or a year in another place, let alone trying to fly to a destination further than three hours away and being able to stay a week only. Nope, summer really is the only period of time that we can actually spend useful, in terms of travelling.
Wanderlust, unfortunately, does not just disappear in the meantime. I read an article that there is an actual gene that causes the desire to travel and can never sit still. With another major trip ahead it is even harder to concentrate on the real world, but luckily there is a cure: shopping!
Shopping?! You may wonder. I used this exact line before, and I might use it ore often: I am not a fashion blogger. I am not a girl that saves up to spend ridiculous amounts of money and can talk about some meaningless vest for 40 mintes in a vlog. I can’t even remember the last time I went casual clothes shopping. Has probably been over a year again, but anyway, how can shopping be a cure then? Well here is a small selection of what I bought in the past few weeks:
My shoppings include a map, travel guide, teva sandals, canvas hiking shoes (tropic-proof) and a spork. This is called living towards your dream-trip. Even getting vaccinated for overseas-areas can be fun this way! (Okay, I’m weird, but you get the idea right?)
Overall, I hate spending money, but today I felt so happy after leaving the outdoor store I had just visited, complete with two filled shoeboxes. There were so many other other items that I would have bought if I hadn’t found the strength to retain myself. It is better to collect your stuff slowly, suitable for the trip you’re going to make and think and revise before you decide. Maps and travel guides obviously differ for each area, but clothes and moreover shoes are quite an important purchase. They may cost a few bucks, but I have learned over time that buying strong, decent shoes and clothing is absolutely worth the investment. The beauty of that is that quality-gear lasts long and you can just use it for your next trip, meaning that, when you don’t have to spend any money on shoes next time, you might be able to buy that long-wished scuba-diving watch. This is how your collection starts. And what you don’t have yet, you can possibly borrow. No need to go all geared up, just the basics are fine. Whether your a wandering student or a backpacker, our priortes are the same. Travel light and travel cheap, as we don’t have the funds to do anything else.
First things first, I am not a fashion blogger and never will be. I am not even in the slightest bit interested in fashion. Not that I am an absolute slob who wears the same jeans and sweater every day all over again, I do sort of have a sense of looking alright and I do like to buy new clothes every then and again, but there is no way that you can call that fashion.
The reason why I am writing about Primark is because today was my first visit to Primark the Hague and it was shocking. The store has been open since the 9th of December if I’m right, so there was nothing new to discover at this point. However this was my first time in Primark, not even specifically this one, but any Primark ever. Oh the signs of a fashion criminal. (For those of you who are not familar with Primark, it is an Irish clothing retailer, now operating in most of Europe. Even more so, massive shops have been popping up pretty much everywhere lately).
If you copy all the people in this picture and paste all of them in the same picture times ten, and realise that this is not even 10% of the size of the shop, that more or less sums up what you can expect from Primark. The store is massive and chaotic. I had only heard people speak about this store before, I knew it is huge and sells cheap clothes, but I had never expected a big building block filled with clothes as far as the eye can reach. However, the people in it are even worse and there are many of them. If you thought there were many pieces of clothing and other fashion items in this store, you should watch the people (this is obligatory anyway, you can not not look at them). The amount of people in a primark is equal to at least twice the amount of items in there and they are all hungry for the latetst fashion at the cheapest prices, focussed only on their prize, snatched away from other customers, not moving an inch when you politely ask if you could pass.
What I was in Primark for was not even to go clothes shopping. I just needed some yoga blocks, that I knew they were selling at the sports department. Expecting the worst, I made sure I had an hour to find the right section, shove people out of the way to clear my path, search for the right item and pay. Suprisingly, all but the last step were done in about half an hour, so I still had another 30 minutes to discover the secrets of primark.
Desperately holding onto my yoga blocks (they were the last ones, I did not want a more experienced primark hunter to snatch them from me) I thought that I might as well pretend to be here for the same thing everyone else was here. I should find an item to try on. The new weapens in my hands made it easier to find my way through the store and the pyjama section took my attention. Whatever your opinion about primark, no one can deny that there pyjamas are awesome. Pyjamas and onesies in all the styles you could think of! (That’s not me in the picture, but I just wanted to share the amazingness of the onesie!)
Alright, onesies are brilliant, but I already have a unicorn one and I am trying not to spend too much money on stuff I don’t really need. So I moved on before my weakness would set in. What I found next to the pyjama section was logically the lingerie section. Interesting. With my A-cup, that I am not embarrased about, it can be hard to find a bra that fits well, without flattening out my already flat chest even further, so I started looking through the incredible assortiment of different bras. This is where primark definetely let me down. It was as if there was no such thing as an A-cup. The shelves were dominated by a double D. Whenever I did manae to find an A-cup, it would be one of those maximise ones. A bra with a pillow to make up for the lack of boobs. Who would want such a thing? Apparrently most girls these days want to create an illusion. I will probably get back to that in another post.
Anyway, as my time was ticking away I found the one and only A-cup bra that was not a maximise one and clutched it to my chest, while still cuddling the yoga blocks, and made my way to the fitting room. Another surprise awaited me. This was not the long line, I wouldn’t have expected anything else, it was the way the staff sorted out your products. There were only certain ones that you could take into the fitting rooms with you, only products that you could and were allowed to try on. Yoga blocks are obviously not one of them, so they were put in a bag with number, corresponding to the number I got, awaiting my return.
Alright then. Yoga blocks are not very helpful in a fitting room anyway, so they can just sit in the bag for now. But the staff wasn’t done yet, not before they took the knickers (matching the bra) off me as well. Hygiene and such. Okay. But. The man in front of me was not allowed to try his shirts, because they would not be to get it back into the packaging. Apparently there was a try-on model where he found the shirts. Up the stairs. Far away from the fitting rooms. If het wanted to try the shirt on, he should try to find that and then return… to the end of the long line.
My bra didn’t fit and the time was ticking, so I took what I came there for and once again awaited my turn in line. Primark to me was not just a shop, it was an experience. Good for a bargain-hunter with too much time on his or her hands and who is ready to take on a fight for a certain item in their size. No-go for a difficult bra-size, but scored points on the pyjama section. Apart from that specific section, not a place I would want to spend to much time. And don’t even begin about the working conditions of the 8-year old girl in Ghana that made Primark possible…