Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Shopping For Light and Line

True confession: I don't really like to shop. 

I know. It's embarrassing. Women are supposed to love to shop. Now let me say that I'm perfectly happy to go on a specific mission to a specific store, knowing exactly what I want and where to find it. I grab it, pay for it and then vamoose. But that womanly art of browsing, testing, touching, trying on, and evaluating potential purchases is completely lost on me. 

Still, when my woman friends who love to shop invite me to join them, I like to say yes. It's what women do for fun, and I want to be a part of the sisterhood. I just have to find ways to amuse myself while my friends are busy.

On my last Friday in Malaysia, during a shopping adventure with the lovely Xeera and Suriana, I entertained myself with my camera.

It all started in the Hang Tuah LRT station, where we had arranged to rendezvous. I arrived by train, and the other ladies were already shopping nearby. While I waited for them to come find me and lead me back to the shops, I couldn't help but notice and fall in love with the interesting interplay of light and shadow in the station.

Brilliant! Energized by my surroundings and happily united with my dear companions for the day, we headed off to Kenanga Wholesale City.

Xeera and Suriana expertly wove a path through the maze of streets in the nearby shopping district, leading me to a large six-story building filled with small shops. They seemed to be focusing in on jewelry, wallets, handbags, and of course, women's clothing. 

I was in awe of my friends' shopping skills. So carefully did they study and evaluate each item in a particular category, touching and turning the specimen just so. For a long time, I watched them shop, observing their facial expressions and hand gestures in fascination.

Then my attention drifted to the objects for sale. While I didn't have the patience to examine them one by one, I definitely appreciated the colorful arrangements and displays.

But Dios mío, after an hour or so, my spirits began to droop. As I dug deep for new inspiration, we rounded a corner to a small elevator lobby, and my eyes fell upon the sight of these precious rectangular windows spilling quadrilateral sunlight onto the ground. 

¡Ay, caramba! Immediately I felt a surge of excitement and adrenalin. Just like the scene at the train station, these geometric splashes of light lifted my spirits and pumped me up. As our shopping day lingered on, I found more and more objects of geometric beauty, and my energy level soared.

As my eyes were constantly moving, considering each vantage point for just the right combination of light and line, it occurred to me that this must be what shopping is like for some women. 
  • The careful, deliberate search for just the right combination of features
  • The happy surge of energy when the perfect item pops up before your eyes
  • The sense of conquest and satisfaction that comes from knowing you found exactly what you were looking for. 
These are exactly the feelings I love when I am seeking an interesting photo. Maybe, in my own way, I'm a woman who loves to shop after all.

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