Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Great Christmas Tree Hunt

Maybe I am too pragmatic. Maybe my husband it too much of a minimalist and he has broken me down over the years. Maybe I am just a bad mom. I did not pack a Christmas tree when I packed up all of our worldly goods. I thought we could do with the 1950's aluminum tree, it's small and doesn't take up space. But when I saw the look in my daughter's eyes. They one that said "You dragged me to the other side of the world. Away from my friends. I'm not getting snow for Christmas, I'm getting sand. I need a tree!"

Fortunately, despite the fact that Indonesia is 90% Muslim, they seem to be in the Christmas mood here in Jakarta. Every shop and restaurant I have walked into in the past week has had Christmas music playing festively and tinsel and trees decorating the space. Fake trees are plentiful but expensive. 

With some luck I discovered trees on sale at our local Carrefour. Not surprising since Carrefour is not frequented by expats. 

Unfortunately I was not smart enough to to buy the tree when I first saw it so I had to make a second trip. This time to a different location.

I ventured in and found the trees immediately. Same price but no boxes. So with my very limited Indonesian I attempted to make this purchase happen. 

Here's the blessing and curse about retail here, there are always lots of people around trying to help you. This time it paid off and I quickly found a lovely young lady who who with the help of the stock boy determined that the only trees available were the ones on display. So with the patience that I have learned is mandatory here I waited while a box was found and the tree was disassembled and boxed up. 

Here's the awesome part, the staff was smiling and friendly and helpful the whole time.

There was one unsettling part of the trip. While I was standing in the verrrry slow line to pay for my bounty the manager walked by with a a new cashier to open a new line. He plucked me out of my line and pushed my cart down to the front of the new line. Perhaps the blond hair that keeps me from getting the best deals at the market finally paid off. 

We are now the proud owner of a lovely little tree. Z is only mildly satisfied since the tree is only 5.5' tall but I consider this a major victory.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.