November 9, 2005

Brouhaha in the fitting rooms

Filed under: Shopping    Email this article    Deutsche Version   

Recently Mike and I have caused quite some brouhaha in the fitting rooms of a department store.

I needed a new bra and so we went to a big department store here in Perth called David Jones. Of course Mike accompanied me, shopping for bras is the only time Mike likes to go shopping with me.

At David Jones they have a huge underwear department with a great bra sortiment. We chose about 10 bras and went to the fitting rooms.

Fitting rooms in Australia are quite luxurious. They are big, have a real door and you can even lock them. They are single fitting rooms. As far as I know there are no shared fitting rooms in Australia, as I have seen them in England.

As we wanted to enter the fitting rooms, a sales woman stopped us, looked very suspiciously at Mike and said, ok, the fitting room closest to the entry is free, we can have that fitting room. As I mentioned before, the fitting room had a real door with a lock inside. I tried the bras on and one had the wrong size, so I sent Mike out to get me the right size.

Bad idea. A sales woman, this time a different one, hissed at Mike, what the heck he is doing in the women’s fitting rooms. Mike was speechless. After he explainded to her that he was just bringing me a new bra, she reluctantly let him into my fitting room and explained to us that Mike is in principle not allowed in here, but for this time he shall just stay put in the fitting room, so nobody sees him. The reason for this was that the other women don’t feel disturbed and harassed!!! Mind, they are all behind closed and locked doors!

We were flabbergasted and after we had closed and locked our fitting room we started to laugh hysterically. We chose than fairly quickly a bra and went to the cashing desk. The sales woman was pretty stroppy to us and was obviously very happy to see Mike leave the underwear department.

We thought firstly this was a single incident, but we discovered later that men wait generally in front of the fitting rooms and women have to come out into the shop so they can show the things they try on to their men. Well, I don’t like that at all. Not all things are for public eyes. I don’t need it that all the world can see that the t-shirt I try on is too tight and that my bottom is too big in these pants!

Men in fitting rooms are obviously a big no-no in Australia. I can’t understand that tough. I have never felt harassed because a man was with his woman in the fitting room next door. But in Austria noone cares if you are top less on the beach and that’s another big no-no in Australia.

The Australians are just a little bit prude. It’s just annoying for me that I can’t really enjoy shopping in Perth because Mike is not allowed in the fitting rooms and shopping alone is only half the fun.

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