Duty free shopping

10 Apr

One of the benefits of flying so much internationally is the ability to purchase goods in the airport that are either not available regularly in China, or at much reduced prices from what I can get here.  In an overarching generalization, Chinese citizens are firm believers in buying as much as possible from duty free shops – to the point that most folks have at least one if not two bags that they will carry onto the plane.  Alcohol is of course popular, as are cigarettes, make-up, perfume, designer handbags and my favorite – chocolate.

Unfortunately I’ve also gotten a bit snobbish – US duty free stores – at least the ones in Chicago – are not up to par with the stores in Asia or even in Europe when I went to Paris a couple of years ago.  But, because I fly at least once a quarter to parts elsewhere, I have ample opportunities to browse and/or select things at the stores.  I’ve purchased the occasional Christmas gift there and looked at new technology and even considered (but didn’t purchase) buying some new luggage.

During my last business trip, I was feeling a bit peckish when in the airport ready to fly off and so passed the time browsing – knowing that soon I would be in the same seat for 5 and a half hours.  I didn’t want sweet, but I was looking for something salty and I wasn’t in the mood for typical Chinese snack food.  The only thing that I could find in that flavor profile was a bag of Combos.  Combos are a pretzel with some type of flavor in the middle – cheese, pepperoni, garlic, pizza – all very processed and not typically something I would choose.  I haven’t eaten Combos since high school, but after deciding that yes, I really did want salt, I purchased a bag – which was industrial sized – from the duty free store.  During the remainder of that trip I munched the combos – Pizza Flavor – until the point when I landed in Singapore and felt rather ill.

I actually snapped a picture when on the plane as I could tell this was not going to end well!

The remains of the bag went into the trash.  Uggh.

Be careful when duty free shopping.

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7 Responses to “Duty free shopping”

  1. Mona April 10, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    What a delightful post. I have walked into and out of the duty free shops, primarily because my bags have been stuffed. Thanks to your posts, I might spend a little more time (and money) in one of them.

    • gkm2011 April 10, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

      Take a look – especially if you want to buy perfume or make-up – there are some specific travel kits that are really convenient. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Camie McReynolds April 10, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    Duty free shopping is one of the greatest inventions of all time – but the industrial size bags of everything can be a little much. I wanted M&M’s on my last trip, but it was no M&M’s or a giant bag the size of my purse.

    • gkm2011 April 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

      That means you are a stronger person than I – I walked out with the huge bag of M&Ms two trips ago! Thanks for commenting.

  3. thirdeyemom April 12, 2012 at 9:30 am #

    I have a habit of shopping in the airport especially when leaving a country and have currency to spend. Bad habit but I always do it and enjoy it!

    • gkm2011 April 12, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

      I tried that once in the Philippines but I didn’t have enough money to actually purchase anything!

      • thirdeyemom April 12, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

        For some reason, it is my go nuts before leaving a country syndrome! I usually end up with a lot of stuff I never use! At least I get some last minute gifts though especially for my kids! 🙂

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