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Shopping Culture Showing Us Our Worlds

By Jamie Isabel Rosado

After finishing the rest of my errands at the Alamawana mall in Honolulu I spied Hilo Hattie’s and decided to take a look inside. After I had done my shopping I went looking for the line to purchase my items. I was much surprised to find that there wasn’t a concrete line but a huddle of people waiting near the three cashiers. The people in that huddle were not necessarily served in the order in which they arrived. The elderly and those with dependants were taken first even if they had not arrived first. Then everyone else was taken in order of arrival.

          In my mind this demonstrates the sense of community and family in Hawaii, there was no pushing no complaining. There was a sense of order although it lacked the usual structure needed to enforce order such as lines.

          Comparing this experience with my previous experiences in similar situations I can see broad differences. Firstly in Puerto Rico no one stays on one line; there always seems to be a faster one or a nicer cashier. Although it can seem chaotic and it often is there is a semblance of order in the chaos.  People are generally courteous to each other but any scene in a shopping establishment is usually hectic. That is in direct contrast with the scene in Hawaii.  

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