What is shopping? It is rather a tricky question, in my opinion, as for different people shopping means different things: it may be a household duty, a favourite leisure activity or something else. For most men it is an ordeal, they can hardly bear more than twenty minutes in any shop and prefer doing any kind of hard work to accompanying their wives or girlfriends in a boutique or a supermarket. For women shopping for clothes, toiletries or jewelries is a kind of entertainment, they can spend hours choosing a T-shirt or a pair of shoes, trying them on or even window-shopping. Although the word shopaholic was coined a few years ago the phenomenon itself has been existing for hundreds of years. Fortunately I am not crazy about shopping, but I always shop around before making a purchase; however I am compelled to admit that modern department stores and malls have an irresistible fascination, especially at Christmas time when they are lit by light and beautifully decorated.
Modern technology affects people`s lifestyles and daily routine. Now we can do our shopping not only in stores or markets but also on the Internet. No doubt shopping online is more convenient and less time consuming but on the other hand buying clothes without trying them on or perfume without smelling it may not seem a good idea.
While Internet purchases seem to be the most advanced kind of shopping flea markets attract more and more people. Lots of people go there in search of bargains. Period pieces in antique shops may cost a fortune while in a flea market one can buy unique thing dirt cheap. Some flea markets like the one in Portobello Road in London or Jaffo in Israel have become tourist attractions so far. Back yard or garage sales are also a good way to buy a useful thing (household goods, toys, books, CDs) at a low price; unfortunately they are not so popular in our country as, for example, in the USA.
Shopping can tell us a lot about any country and its culture. In the Near...