The art of asking or “noisy shopping”

May 21, 2019

Chief Minister of the NT, the Hon Michael Gunner MLA at Malak Marketplace chats to Northern Territory organic farmer Organic AG (Photo credit: Natalie Tan)

Several supermarket chains introduced the concept of quiet hour shopping in their stores to help those who struggle with noise and music shop in peace. They dim lights, turn music off, avoid using the tannoy and even turn down the beeps from the checkouts. This style of silent, peaceful shopping has much to recommend it – especially when you don’t have anything or anyone in your ear urging you to constantly to ‘buy, buy, buy’ –  but when it comes to shopping at the local markets, we can’t advocate for it.

We advocate for noisy shopping!

Instead, we’re going to lobby for more talking and more questions! It can feel a bit awkward to start up a conversation, especially one that is unusually interrogatory. Do not fear, however, you don’t need to start bouncing babies or finding depths of quick-wittedness in you. Start with a simple ‘hello, how are you?”,  a smile and a compliment, which always breaks the ice nicely. From there, go with the conversational flow!

Ask the artists

Often, you’ll find artists at our local markets who have spent many hours creating unique and beautiful pieces.

  • Why not ask them how long each piece takes to make
  • what their inspiration is
  • how they got started
  • and how they learnt to do what they’re doing.
  • Ask them what the price is, but feel free to say that you’ll think about whether you’re going to buy it or not.
  • Ask whether the artist has a Facebook page or Instagram account that you can follow, so you can see what else they create.

Ask the growers

With local growers, you can ask where their farms are

  • how they grow their produce
  • when are their fruit and veggie seasons
  • what are the challengers facing farmers in the NT
  • and what’s the best way to eat their produce? You might pick up some inspiring meal ideas too!

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