In the third weekend of November 2016, we spent three evenings shopping for the chocolates to express our gratitude for the health of Little Princess and to celebrate with our friends, customers, colleagues and bosses .
In the first evening, LPMGF suggested that I come with LPMGM as the latter is more experienced in shopping for good stuff with high value-to-price ratio. In the second evening, LPMGM and I wanted to buy from LC shop, but AR told us to come back the next day as they had no staff to pack according to my choices of chocolates. In the third evening, I did buy from LC shop but we discovered other choices, including (i) HG shop that gave not only LPMGF chocolates but also a cup of coffee and (ii) LB shop where LPMGF tested a delicious pistachio chocolate and I tried a lotus chocolate, I also bought from this shop for the beautiful wrappings.
- Try it first. LPMGF felt like a beggar for sampling chocolates at different shops, whereas LPMGM and I enjoyed tasting different flavors of chocolates. If we like particular things, we will happily buy them instead of ending up buying things that we do not like because we are not thick face enough to try when we are offered to do so. When I made a large sum amount of cosmetic purchases (for others), I request for samples that come handy while traveling. Don’t be afraid to ask (#pandaAskSeekKnock). The worst thing that can happen is just a ‘No’.
- must negotiate. For the big purchases of life, e.g. properties, one needs to do homework and scout for sale. If possible, wait for the sale of air tickets and short-term accommodation (e.g. hotel, hostel, guest houses). While Honey Panda loves to wait for the sale of office attire, I have rarely bought clothes thanks to my mother and sister. Wearing second-hand clothes from them has made feel like being hugged by them, especially we have lived across countries and continents for most time.
- always consider alternatives: do multiple visits as window-shopping experience, if time is not a constraint . If you are not used or too shy to bargain, you can visit on different days. Different staff quoted us different price. For example, 20161118_181246*jpg was 1st quoted for AED 275 (then lowered to AED 250) by a female staff on 20161119, but the male staff on 20161120 offered us AED 225.
- Words count and do not count. After sharing our experience on 20161119 with LPMGM, she highlighted the subtle yet critical difference between “lend/borrow” and “entrust/entrusted”. In contrast, AR – the staff of LC shop who attended to us on 20161118 mentioned that he would take out a souvenir that we like from a tray if they have no stock, but his less friendly colleague said No to us on 20161119. Let us be people who speak words that others can count on, yet we do not expect others’ words to always count.
- It is essential to be penny wise and pound wise, and if we must choose either one, let it be pound wise. According to LPMGF, I wasted time and efforts for choosing chocolates, but honestly I felt as if I was exploring a theme park of chocolates (a treat to eyes and tongue) and I derived joy from purchasing with savings.
- Decide and do not regret. Once I decided on the chocolates to buy and the chocolate shops to buy from, I happily made my purchase. Do not regret after we made a purchase. It’s the past. To quote Anne Lamott, “the three things I cannot change are the past, the truth and you.”
The most important things are Little Princess learned that she is deeply loved by many people and the essence of being kind (generous and thoughtful) to family members and friends. See Asia2016/20161119_223043.jpg for a pose of Little Princess with an arrangement of her celebratory chocolates.
 see ref2016*/chocolates_20161119.txt for abbreviations and more lessons
 Obviously, this mode of shopping is not LPMGF’s style. He wanted to shop quickly, even though if he has to pay a premium . Although LPMGF had learned to bargain and is more frugal than LPMU, the former’s pride had made him unhappy with the unfriendly treatment from the staff.
 Thus, according to a former entreprenuer LPMGM, it’s easier to sell lower quality things to men than women, although not all men are equal in shopping modes.