How to Survive in Primark

Primark is a wonderful Irish invention; a shop that sells very very cheap clothes for those who have no sweat-shop related social conscience. You can buy t-shirts for 4 euros, jeans for 8 and a dress for that party you wanted to go to for less than 20. It was my savior at uni РI could be dressed fashionably AND have enough money to buy ridic expensive Japanese textbooks!

Then I came to Frankfurt. Frankfurt has CRAP shopping. Seriously, if you are visiting here and want to spend the day shopping, save your time and money and just don’t. There is a Primark up in a shopping centre in the north and it was nice to make a day trip there once every few months and just buy EVERYTHING – because it was the closest thing to home fashion as I could get. But now there is a new Primark that opened on Frankfurt high street and so you can’t shop there anymore because every spotty teenager from Dornbusch to Darmstadt will have the same items.

BUT since I know a lot of people here are new to Primark, I will tell you as a Primark pro how to work your way around these battlefields.

Rule number 1 РOnly bring with you fellow Primark warriors.

Got kids? Nope, try for Primark at 10am on a week day. Leave your boyfriend/husband/non-shopper at home because children and stragglers will only get kicked to the side when all the serious shopping starts. They will get in your way, they will get in my way. We will all be sad.

Rule number 2 – Don’t try it on.

Are you seriously going to wait in that queue for 40 minutes to try on a top that costs 12 euros? Buy it, and if it doesn’t fit, take it back. Or, go at 10am on a weekday.

Rule number 3 – Don’t make it more difficult for staff.

In terms of hardcore levels, you have your That-Guy-Who-Jumped-Out-The-Rockets, you have your Chuck Norris’. Then you have Primark staff. They cannot just throw down their baskets and say “I’m outta here” when the Primarkers get crazy – they HAVE to be there. So even though you picked that Mickey Mouse t-shirt from a mountain, don’t just throw it on the floor after you’ve opened it to see what the rest of Mickey’s face looks like – attempt to fold it and put it back where it should be.

Rule number 4 – This is a battle ground.

Your buggy is in my way. I will move it to the side politely because it’s in my way. You yourself are in my way. I will put my hand on your shoulder and ask you politely to let me past. We are all in each others’ ways. But let’s not be dicks about it, ok? We are not heathens! Let’s not ram past or send each other flying or huff and puff when you can’t get past. After all, we are all here for the love of cheap fashion. And that is a glorious love to have.

Rule number 5 – Don’t be Those Primark People.

You know Those Primark People. Usually a small group of girls or young women, they’ve filled their baskets up want to assess their purchases and maybe try a few things on. So they set up camp in the corner, building a small wall of clothes around them so that no one can get by, and they sort their clothes out, and try on anything they want to try on. Look…this is annoying. You’re blocking a load of clothes, you’re blocking the way, you’re being stupid. If you don’t like something, don’t put it into your basket. Simple as that.

So there we have it – my top Primark tips. If any fellow Primark warriors happen to be reading this and have some tips, please do let me know in the comments!

Coming Up in Frankfurt

SONY DSC

So the other day on Facebook someone mentioned this amazing art exhibition that’s basically a room full of balloons. Unfortunately it was the last day, so even though I made it in time, it is too late to tell you all to go see it ūüôĀ

BUT I do know of a few cool things happening in Frankfurt in the next few weeks.

Firstly, TLS have a great show coming up called Shakespeare, Anyone? Who wouldn’t want to hang out in a cool bar and just have a bit of Mr Shakes going on? It’s starting in April so make sure you’re free to see it!

The¬†Caricature Museum has a pretty cool collection right now that I went to go see over the Easter weekend, when it was free to get in. I want to find some really funny things there, but these were really sweet cartoons. I hope they’ll have something off the scale funny soon!

Speaking of museums, night of the museums is coming up soon – pay for one ticket (12 euros) and visit as many museums in Frankfurt as you can for one night. I must say, I went last year and it was PACKED and so don’t expect me to be there this year! But it’s a good deal if you can handle places with lots of people.

There is a Holi festival happening in Frankfurt in the summer but the tickets (some of which I wanted to buy…) sold out in an hour. But if you don’t have crap knees like I do, there’s always the Color Run which is the same concept but with the festival being replaces with a marathon. I wish I could go for it… sadface.

If you like beer and fairground rides then you should also try out Dipplemess which is on for another few weeks or so. I went with some friends on the first night and though it was COOOOOLD it was still good fun!

For other good events, check out these pages from the Frankfurt Walking Tour (which is always awesome) for April, May and June!

Accents

SONY DSC

The other day I introduced a new co-worker to my pub quiz team. My American and German friend said that they really loved his accent; he’s a well educated British guy…well aside from the British and guy part, I said I assume he was well educated – you can tell from his accent. I was trying to explain to them that while, on the surface, it seems that Britain doesn’t have class systems anymore, you can tell a person’s upbringing, education and “class” by their accent.

Accent is a funny thing. I read a paper when I was in uni about how different accents make you feel certain ways, and so companies take advantage of this – for example, the Scottish accent will make you warm to the person and feel calm, so they put a lot of Scottish people in call centres. I had trouble in uni because of my accent – I have a typical RP, or “Queen’s English” accent, which usually tells people that you are well off and posh and stuck up. So this is how people thought of me, despite me telling people that I am normal, went to an average school and lived in some pretty rough areas when I grew up. People would take what I said and twist them to make it sound like I was looking down my nose at people, or just make rude and snide comments about my accent.

In Britain there is a north-south divide which I wasn’t even aware of until I went to uni. I’m from the south, and while people sometimes make jokes about Liverpudlians, or maybe about people from Newcastle, there’s rarely any bad mouthing of people from the north in general. The stuff I experienced at uni in Liverpool was just one part of it – when I was dating a guy from Middlesborough and I went to go stay with his family up there, his uncles and cousins had lots of stories and comments about how rude and stuck up and horrible southern people are. So when someone speaks the way I speak, all these images are brought up for a lot of people – even though I’m not like that.

On the flipside, my accent can (sadly) help me out in the working world – or at least in England. I’m not sure how true it is, but I’m told that people with RP accents are more likely to score top jobs and make good impressions in interviews. In an article I read this week, too, a brain surgeon comments that him being an East London boy is an unexpected thing, given his profession. Again, this comes down to accent – people don’t expect people with a “rough” London accent to do such a skilled job as brain surgery. Another good example is this woman from BBC News –

Screen shot 2013-03-26 at 7.55.35 AM

Most BBC news presenters have “clean” southern accents, but she has a very strong northern accent. She’s the business woman on the show and often explains all the complicated¬†economical news, but some people find her accent very off putting, or out of place in this job.

Even my American friend couldn’t understand when I explained all this to her, so I think maybe, in the English-speaking world at least, it’s a British thing. Are there stereotypes or prejudice placed on certain accents where you are from?

Hooters, Frankfurt

SAM_5462

The other week the Friday Night Drinks Club had an event at Hooters in Sachsenhausen. I’d never been to a Hooters before so I was pretty excited…

First of all, let’s be honest, Hooters is famous for their waitresses, right? Well…I must admit I was a little disappointed. These girls weren’t the skinniest around which was good to see but they looked so scary and grumpy which made them a lot less attractive. It was Friday night so they were busy, but still…a smile doesn’t hurt!

SONY DSC

The food is also famous there – I tried the wings but my friend chose the spicy sauce so I wasn’t a fan. I’m hoping that their lemon and pepper wings are something like the wings at the Nagoyan restaurant Yama Chan since I miss those so much.

Instead I tried the Hooters gherkin chips which were recommended to me by a friend. They were simply delicious and very very more-ish, going down very well with the beer there.

SONY DSC

They have various offers – including sometimes 50% off for women! – so you should keep an eye out for those. If you can look past the cheesy/sexist/tacky cover, this is actually a nice American diner with good food.

Find Hooters at Kleine Rittergasse 4, 60594 Frankfurt am Main

%d bloggers like this: