England is for sale or should it be England is on sale?
I think that I could say:
England is one big sale
Almost everyone I met while I was in England was either talking about “two for the price of three” or “buy one get one free”. This was often from older retired folk, boasting proudly about their weekly supermarket shop, but I noticed there were "2 for 3 stickers" on most of the books in Waterstones and WH Smiths too, no longer just on the selected few that haven’t been selling well.
In the high streets and in the malls the shops that are still open have offers for today’s bargains written in white paint all over the windows. I was unsure whether I had caught the end of the summer sales or the beginning of the January sales. It could be the January sales, as Christmas had already started when I arrived in the UK in September! It is all a bit confusing.
Another shopping highlight for the Norwich locals was the opening of a new Aldi store that, unlike most Aldi stores in Germany, was build in a row of shops on a high street just out of town. Easily accessible to all, supplying even more cheap food to discuss at evening classes or on the bus.
At the end of the day the market-stall holders were selling off their wares at one pound for a bowl. A lot more marketeering is being done these days, the banter from the stall holders still entertaining the crowds of bargain-hunters, just like when I was a child. The prices seem not much higher than fifty years ago either!
What I found very interesting is that while consumables are all going cheap, with bargain prices advertised and sale signs everywhere, even in the banks, I noticed far fewer FOR SALE signs in front gardens. Perhaps the slump in prices has seen a buying frenzy and the houses have all been snapped up, or maybe the low prices have put people off selling for a while. I expect the papers are full of the answers to that one.
Meanwhile the rush to find the cheapest Sunday dinner goes on.
As usual I found shopping in England far more pleasurable than I do in Germany, and not because of the bargains. I always feel like the cashiers are treating me like the Queen, even in a supermarkets, where every till is manned and where I am always surprised by generous amount of time the cashiers take to serve their customers.