I was conducting my weekly shop at the local store herein Port Hedland when all of a sudden the store was invaded by Asian men, specifically Mainland Chinese men. I know this because I could understand bits and pieces of their conversations as they split up within the store.
I heard them first, talking loudly to each other, having a conversation whilst standing at either end of the aisle, innocent by-standers were caught in the exchange.
I paid no mind to them until I witnessed one of the men tearing open a box of baby formula like it was Christmas morning and distributing them amongst his friends/posse. I was also gobsmacked that regular milk powder were also spared no mercy- seeing a whole tray of Long life milk powder plonked into a man’s trolley.
I have heard of people buying baby formula in bulk but I’ve never witness the brutal consumerism, like seagulls with a lonely soggy chip!
I continued on my shop and was going up and down each aisle. I stopped.
The aisle with the baby formula was completely stripped of all product- I mean all. The evidence that remained were empty boxes abandoned in the middle of the aisle and shelf talkers that had nothing to talk about.
An employee of the store arrived behind me- I heard his exasperated sigh first. “What the hell happened?” I asked with an inkling of the events. The employee shared that the men worked on the ships that come to Port Hedland, they purchase formula to be sold on the black market back in China.
“Isn’t there a limit?” I asked.
The employee picked up a ticket in Chinese characters and showed it to me. The limit was 4 per customer. The employee excused himself to clean up the empty boxes.
I completed my shopping and proceeded to the self-serve checkout. Whilst there I witnessed one of the Chinese men getting into an argument with the POS operator, I craned my neck to have a look into his trolley and saw that there were more than 4 containers of baby formula in his trolley- say more than double, the operator refused to process the sale.
That was my ‘exciting’ event for the day.
What have you witnessed that was out of the ordinary?