I never liked shopping. For me, shopping had always been this tedious process of hopping between shops, trying on clothes, negotiating with vendors (in some cases) and in many instances being hit on by some low-life sleazeballs in the process (especially when wandering the streets of Sweifieh). I always dreaded upcoming shopping trips. And, almost always, I had to have a companion with me to console me, giving me words of encouragement to help me through this challenging process. In many cases that companion was my sister, Tania, the fashion expert. Then, after I got married, my shopping escort became my husband, who naturally has more tolerance than me for this tiring procedure.

But now, as we are living in the center of capitalism, things have changed drastically. To my utter and complete surprise I’m loving the whole idea of the shopping spree. I mean how can you not love it with all the great deals that are put in front of you? I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I first went shopping here. I could actually afford buying brands like Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren among others.

How could you not love shopping here when you get up to a 70% discount on some of the most beautiful items you ever laid eyes on? Words like capitalism and consumerism really did not mean much to me before coming here. Now I understand. It is all about satisfying the consumer so the country’s economic gears keep churning. But really, give me a break. How can you not be an ardent consumer here with all the mind-boggling deals? Yes, I’m being sucked into it. But can I really help it? I’m a new immigrant after all.

On the other hand, seeing all of these great deals is making me somehow angry … angry at all the time and loads of money I spent back in Jordan on mediocre products simply because I had no other alternative. Why is it in Jordan, where the minimum salary is 85 JD (about $119 US dollars) a month, people have to pay double — even triple — the price for the same products you find here. It is just so unfair. Think of it: Besides all of the political instability, social pressure and economic stagnation, the Jordanian consumer is always screwed. Okay, I’m very angry now. Gotta go do some shopping.