Every time someone I knew flew out of the country, they came back raving about duty free shopping at the international airports. So I really looked forward to duty free shopping when my turn came. But when a friend recently asked me how has been my experience, I went blank. Now I know why I went blank: my mind’s still dazzled by the sight of the sparkling shops, much like that of a child who finds herself in a mela! I became a consumer of sights more than a consumer of products (primarily and sadly because I had little money)! And I must admit that although I am more of a person who loves to shop at local markets for local products, I was more than happy being a consumer of the sparkling sights at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi and Heathrow, London.
It was in 2011 that I was in Heathrow; and I picked up two bottles of flavored drinking water by mistake. I saw the price on the shelves, and since it went with the price of flavored drinking water outside, I picked up a bottle. The guy at the counter told me that at that price, I was getting two at Duty Free. And he fetched another bottle of the same for me. My first experience with the glory of Duty Free shopping that was. I was full of glee. But as luck could have it, I couldn’t finish one bottle at one go, which left me with two bottles and I had no space in my hand baggage for even one bottle! Plus, my hands were occupied with the hand bag, the laptop bag, a huge coat and a stole that slipped from my shoulders to my hands every now and then. My hands, in other words, were full and they couldn’t occupy themselves with any more stuff like the two bottles of my recently purchased flavored drinking water. So, I somehow finished one bottle (gulped more than half of the precious stuff down my throat because I didn’t want to throw it in the bin) and left the other bottle with the amused counter guy.
Duty Free at Heathrow, London. Picture source: Mail Online, UK (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2067193/Lets-stop-crying-persecution-time-Christian-loses-job-Heathrow.html)
Back in Delhi, at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, I completed the rest of my shopping. I had picked up little souvenirs for family and friends from places here and there in England. But, as is the case with me, I knew people loved chocolates as gifts. In Delhi Duty Free (http://www.delhidutyfree.co.
in/), I bought chocolates
like crazy. My husband, who had lived in Berlin for a while, always got chocolates
from Duty Free when he came home. “You get the same brands at good price, plus
you don’t have to carry a load all the way!” I remembered his words and shopped
like crazy. As I was walking out, a brother-in-law’s favorite Johnny Walker
Black Label caught my eye. I checked the price, it was incredible! I quickly
bought it for him. And resisted the urge to buy a couple more considering the mountain
of chocolates I already was carrying.
Delhi Duty Free (http://www.delhidutyfree.co.
in/). Picture source: IndiaPRwire (http://www.indiaprwire.com/pressrelease/travel/20120719125617.htm)
This is it as far as my Duty Free shopping experiences are concerned, but I know people who have bought TVs in Dubai Duty Free, like 2-3 TVs at a time for themselves and family. And only last week, a friend coming back to India got so busy at Delhi Duty Free that he left his luggage at the baggage collection belt unattended!
SPECIAL NOTE:Thank you Blogmint (www.blogmint.com), India’s first and only paid bloggers network, for letting me share my Duty Free experiences!