Shopping Abroad - It does make you wonder

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It's been two weeks since I'be been here, although it seems quite alot longer! And during that time, I have been on holiday! But when our ship pulled into the port of Vigo in Spain, something struck me as rather odd.

There was a
huge[i/] electrical store right on the port! Now for those of you who can't grasp what a 300m long, 150m wide three story electrical store feels like, let me best explain it as pretty much the whole internet inside a store. It was gigantic! It was the 18 wheeler of electrical stores; the great dane of hi-fi shopping; and to put it in hi-fi terms: comparable to a Kef Muon.

But that's not it! EVERY item was on. Yes, EVERY item was available for use there!!! I used a Nikon D3 with a HUGE 800mm lens for around half an hour with no shop assistant coming to me and saying "Can I help you?" or "¿Puedo ayudarle, señor?" to be more exact. Then there was the washing machines...for those of you which don't know what a 2000rpm washing machine sounds like, I would say it would give a EuroFighter a good dB challange!

After going down a floor, I found what I was looking for: The Hi-Fi section. I'm not talking about the Curry's hi-fi section which comprises of a few nasty colour ipods and a old AV receiver. This was the buisness! Components worth up to £5000 were in there and it was all plugged in and setup! Superb - AND the prices were quite competative!

Thus, the question arises...why don't they exist in the U.K?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I agree, I used to live in London, but now live on a 600 acre cattle property in far north Queensland, I have one Hifi shop that has anything worth looking at a 4 hour round trip away.If i want any real choice I need to go to Melborne which is 40000km away Oh hum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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Sounds wonderful. I get jealous when people from Hong Kong or Singapore rhapsodise about entire hifi department stores with different levels of hifi on each floor and brands from every geography well represented (often entire ranges) even from small specialist UK companies that don't have any representation/distribtion in the UK itself.

Our city (200,000 people and a 200,000+ catchment) has one (yes one) small branch of Audio-T and that makes us the lucky ones (!) compared to some large UK towns with no specialist hi-fi shop at all.

However, we get what we deserve. Here in Britain there is almost zero interest in quality reproduction of music and only a tiny fraction of the population regularly hear live music. (It is impossible to know what a good hifi should sound like unless you regularly hear the real thing.)

Historians may blame this on our 'Protestant work ethic' and certainly it goes some way to explaining our national hatred & distrust of visual fine arts and our love of the written word, but I don't think it explains our antipathy towards quality reproduction of music. Even within my own lifetime I have noticed that no-one sings or whistles (or even hums) in public anymore without danger of being thought odd (or worse, being attacked!).

When I was a child, everyone from the bus conductor to the milkmen and even blokes digging up the road and the local butcher would be singing and whistling. It was normal. My parents would sing along to the radio. We sang hymns every morning at school (ordinary state school) until I was 11. Music was taught at school so even if we had no talent at least we knew what instruments did and how they sounded. School assemblies regularly featured anything from a violin recital to a 5th year (year 11?) Punk band! Record shops (remember those?) would be full every Saturday with teenagers buying records and they would learn lyrics by heart and be singing the catchier ones all week at school or work. In fact teens used to gather in each other's bedroom and play and swap music.

Even local venues like pubs, working mens clubs and community centres would have musical events regularly every week. There is a detectable lack of musical programmes on TV compared to when I was a kid. No OGWT, no Top of the Pops, no Rock goes to College. Few of us seem to have a 'soundtrack' to our community and private lives anymore.

Music is now becoming completely 'privatised' (we download into our heads via an MP3 player and any 'leakage' is frowned upon by those around us.) No doubt the singing/whistling milkmen and tradesmen of my youth would have court orders slapped on them by the noise abatement society if they were doing it nowadays. Wannabe 'Tony Bennett' bus conductors serenading their passengers would probably have to face charges of 'harassment' rather than the giggles and heckling they used to get. (Of course the bus-conductors themselves have been killed off now.) As for the singing butcher... he would get the chop! (Groan.)
 
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Anonymous

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I might not be old enough to know what it was like in the 70s, but I can tell you that the country has gone to the dogs from the 90s also. Remember britpop? Remember the ledgendary boy-bands? I'm being serious here, even people like the Spicegirls provided music to the masses and everyone sang along with their cassettes!

Nobody, I repeat, nobody has heard of Meatloaf at my school or Pink Floyd (apart from my mate) or Yes or Supertramp...and so I play their music and they say "what a load of rubbish"...what has happened to my generation? We grew up with Britpop people!

And then try and get the point across that you can spend £5000 on hi-fi and it still isn't classed as high-end...

Then again, they havn't heard of a single decent book either or any artists...Neither Salvidor Dali or Dali speakers are known to them!

I shouldn't make sweeping generalisations, but it's true in most cases that our country (or countrys to be p.c) is going to the dogs!

Nothing has filled me with such pride in the U.K as when I saw the QE2 go past once...yet to most people my age, QE2 would only stand for something in text language!
 

fr0g

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Jan 7, 2008
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I have to say, for me, that shop sounds awful. I like the personal treatment you get in a proper hifi shop. Even if you don't get all the brands together.

I'm sure places like that will exist soon in the UK, and will probably be the death knell of the small, personal shopping experience.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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Hughes123:I shouldn't make sweeping generalisations, but it's true in most cases that our country (or countrys to be p.c) is going to the dogs!

And even the dogs are 'going to the dogs'.

There was a time we bought a dog to walk it for exercise and to be a family member and friend for companionship. Now every other person has some kind of attack dog and the motives are no longer exercise and companionship but intimidation and a means to extract iPods and cellphones from schoolchildren!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/7047870.stm

Traditionally certain breeds of dog have always been trained to fight but we have our children and Youtube to fulfill that role now....

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/devon/6366255.stm
 
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Anonymous

Guest
chebby:Hughes123:I shouldn't make sweeping generalisations, but it's true in most cases that our country (or countrys to be p.c) is going to the dogs!

And even the dogs are 'going to the dogs'.

There was a time we bought a dog to walk it for exercise and to be a family member and friend for companionship. Now every other person has some kind of attack dog and the motives are no longer exercise and companionship but intimidation and a means to extract iPods and cellphones from schoolchildren!

Yes, that's true! Where I live (an estate in Oxfordshire) there are roughly twenty staffordshire bulls, five Rotweilers (I hope that's how it is spelt) and four Dobermans...all of which are walked off-lead...We have a black lab *** who we can only take out at certain times of the day due to the threat of the viscious dogs attacking her!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
fr0g:I have to say, for me, that shop sounds awful. I like the personal treatment you get in a proper hifi shop. Even if you don't get all the brands together.

I'm sure places like that will exist soon in the UK, and will probably be the death knell of the small, personal shopping experience.

That's wrong IMO - such shops will disspear due to the internet and so little shops will prevail. And the probable reason nobody approached me was that me and my father don't speak Espanol very well!
 

fr0g

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Jan 7, 2008
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Hughes123:chebby:Hughes123:I shouldn't make sweeping generalisations, but it's true in most cases that our country (or countrys to be p.c) is going to the dogs!

And even the dogs are 'going to the dogs'.

There was a time we bought a dog to walk it for exercise and to be a family member and friend for companionship. Now every other person has some kind of attack dog and the motives are no longer exercise and companionship but intimidation and a means to extract iPods and cellphones from schoolchildren!

Yes, that's true! Where I live (an estate in Oxfordshire) there are roughly twenty staffordshire bulls, five Rotweilers (I hope that's how it is spelt) and four Dobermans...all of which are walked off-lead...We have a black lab *** who we can only take out at certain times of the day due to the threat of the viscious dogs attacking her!

All the above dogs can be beautiful pets. It isn't any particular breeds fault, it's the mentality of the owner.

My family have had staffordshire bull terriers for 40 years or so. Long before any bad name. They are an extremely loyal, loving dog, and can protect the owner, and guard a house. They are fantastic with children.

Dobermans are a little too skittish for my liking to have around young kids, but many people , especially these days are frightened in their own homes, and a large dog is a form of protection.

The problem, is that thugs and criminals also buy, and train these dogs to be aggresive.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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fr0g, I am sure you and your pets are the exception that proves the rule. But the majority of people hurt by these dogs are the people who live in the same house. Whenever they parade the victims (and the relatives of the victims of maulings) on television they always say the same things. "we had no idea...", "it was such a good natured dog...", "so good with the kids...", "it was such a softie...".

I cross the road well in advance even if I see one of these attack dogs on a chain.
 

fr0g

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Jan 7, 2008
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I read somewhere that in fact the dog with the worst record in the UK, is the labrador, this may or may not be true, but I can tell you that it certainly isn't the Staffie. Any dog can be dangerous, badly trained. No dog should be left alone with small children. Irresponsible owners should be banned from keeping them.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
It is 16000km halfway round the world, and is also about the length of the coast of Aus.The distance from Perth to Adalaide (the first town you find going west to east)is about the same as London to Moscow.From Cairns(2 hours from me) to Brisbane a tiny distance on the map is 1700km, and as I said Melborne is about 4000km.Mostly not motorway.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
fr0g:I read somewhere that in fact the dog with the worst record in the UK, is the labrador, this may or may not be true, but I can tell you that it certainly isn't the Staffie.

The staffie isn't the worst, but I would have to say that the Doberman probably is if not trained correctly - the labrador retreiver is such a popular dog (for good reason) that there are probably more cases of people getting bitten by them - but the other problem is, people think labradors will always be harmless and so tease them and play roughly with them and so the dog becomes confused about how to treat them and probably gives them a playful ***.

My dad had his finger bitten very badly by his Old English Sheepdog because he chucked a ball up in the air and the dog went to catch it at the same time he did - by accident of course, but it was still recorded as a dog-related incidient by the hospital.
 

Craig M.

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Mar 20, 2008
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i would love a huge electrical store that had all the hifi brands in one place. i would very happily do without any specialist knowledge in exchange for being able to directly compare.

and as to dogs, it has nothing to do with the breed and everything to do with the owners. i own possibly the biggest dobermann you are likely to see, 50kilos. he is so soft, i'm not even sure he would bite someone to protect me. as for other dogs, i don't think he even notices them. i haven't trained him to be like this, but equally, i haven't trained him to attack anything either. i wouldn't dream of leaving him unattended with a small child, but then i wouldn't leave a small child with any dog.
 

fr0g

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Jan 7, 2008
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Craig M.:
i would love a huge electrical store that had all the hifi brands in one place. i would very happily do without any specialist knowledge in exchange for being able to directly compare.

and as to dogs, it has nothing to do with the breed and everything to do with the owners. i own possibly the biggest dobermann you are likely to see, 50kilos. he is so soft, i'm not even sure he would bite someone to protect me. as for other dogs, i don't think he even notices them. i haven't trained him to be like this, but equally, i haven't trained him to attack anything either. i wouldn't dream of leaving him unattended with a small child, but then i wouldn't leave a small child with any dog.

On dogs I agree 100%...
On hifi... So you would do without the listening rooms? And advice? Not sure how you directly compare so many brands in a building shaped like a warehouse...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
What we clearly don't want in this country is any American led gigantic superstore's of any kind. It is consumerism which has led us into the situation we are in now, and under Brown's ruling we are unlikely to see change for some time. Keep it local. Trust me.
 

Craig M.

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Mar 20, 2008
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i would need a listening room to take the kit you selected to demo. i'm not sure what advice a dealer could give that would have any relevance when i can compare myself. compared to the situation i have now, where i am limited to about 8 manufacturers, i would take it.
 

Craig M.

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Mar 20, 2008
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chebby:Craig M.:.....as for other dogs, i don't think he even notices them... Woof!



i wonder if mine doesn't seem interested in other dogs because, like father dougal, he can't tell the difference between small and far away. the great dane in that pic is probably thinking hmm, it smells like a dog, but..... the poodle's probably just emitting a high pitched squeeking sound from somewhere. in my house, its the cats you have to look out for. cats are pure evil.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
IMO training a dog is much easier than building a hifi you love. I have two dogs and whilst I receive uncontrolled love from them I struggle to hear any definite human communication of any sort.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Apologies!! Oops My mistake a slight typo!!!!!!! Aus is really really big, but 40,000km would be ridiculous.I remember when me and the missus first came to Aus we travelled around before we came to the far north.We crossed the Nullabour which is the road between Perth and Adalaide, as I said like giong from London to Moscow only across desert and the road has nearly no bend never mind turns.It was 40 degrees it the shade and the aircon packed up.I think that drive was the closest we ever got to splitting up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will be coming to the UK in Akout 6 weeks for the first trip back in 4 years. I cant wait to go to the big HMV in London!!!!!!!
 

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