Wednesday, February 29, 2012

the lion city III: the quest

Dad and I, on the Quest, taking a nice
snapshot with the dragon, since we're both
born in the year of said dragon.

To finish off my recounting of my trip to Singapore, I am going to document "The Quest." Well, I call it a quest. Because my other option would be Pain-in-the-you-know-where-I'm-talking-about. Besides, what adventure is complete without a quest? So of course, our family had a quest.

Enter my dashing but slightly prone to preening brother (love you, big guy!).
Try not to swoon from his wink.

Notice anything about this teenage, socially sensitive young guy?

Ok, I'll spell it out for you. His headphones are pink. Well, not entirely, but noticeably. Let me just state here and now that there is nothing wrong with pink. However, they weren't jiving with Ian's mojo enough. Our aunt gave these headphones to him. I'm not sure where she got them, but I still ponder her reasoning when she purchased pink headphones for my brother. Maybe they were the only color. Maybe they were free. Maybe she didn't think he'd mind. Maybe she remembered that he used to have a shirt that said "real men wear pink." In any scenario, it was sweet of her to remember/know that my brother was in the headphone market because I certainly had no inkling until after touchdown.

 As you can see, he didn't mind enough to disregard them, he just had his sights higher.

By higher, I mean more $$$. He had specific requirements about the headphones he was looking for. They had to cover his whole ear . The band that connected the ear poofs had to be comfortable. He bought an expensive pair here in the States over the summer, then returned them because the band pinched his neck, hence, a cushioned or padded band was essential (I call it a band, but I really have no idea. Just doing the best I can). I would have just sewn earmuffs and flannel over a regular pair, but hey, that's me.

I suppose the broski couldn't find the headphones in China, so he was determined to get them in Singapore. Apparently he had looked it up before, or his friend had gotten them there or something along those lines. So, I, being the fan of shopping and browsing and finding a good bargain, readily agreed to troop along with the family as we went in search of these famed earphones. Headphones. You get the point.

Chinese New Year Decorations all over the place.
One little snag.

It was Chinese New Year.

Allow me to elaborate.

Singapore has a high population of Chinese people. What does this mean? This means that a large percentage of the stores and malls were closed for Chinese New Year. From what I've observed, that's pretty unheard of in the US, particularly for more than one day. But for Chinese New Year, it seemed as though most stores were closed for at least 2 days, and in some of the smaller malls and individually owned stores, up to the whole week!

So what do we do? Naturally, we go to each and every possible location that might be open and might carry the headphones. You'll have to pardon my mild exasperation as this is the part where there was a lot of walking and looking for stall numbers and going up stairs and getting on buses and walking from bus stop to location. It must have been my giddy family reunion fuzzies that were clouding my brain because now I'm wondering why we didn't simply call these places ahead of time? I'll let you think on that one too.

Moving on. It wasn't all exercise (ok, that, I'll admit, was much needed); there was some lolly-gagging and puttering and browsing. Those are the technical terms for eating and stopping in stores I was interested in and sitting.

This gentleman made me laugh. I know it may not have
been very nice, but I was up a floor so I don't think he
heard me. Especially over the music.
Some interesting things happened along the way. The most notable? We saw some pick-up line dancing going down in a mall. Unexpected, to say the least, since I was under the impression that line-dancing was a Southern, hoe-down type activity (cultural stereotype?). I was surprised again when the music started playing. All I can say is, they definitely did not play Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood or Trace Adkins. It was more....ballroom type music. Again, unusual. This was a first for me. I'll let you know if I see it happen again.

FINALLY, after we searched high and low, across the entire city (good thing Singapore's an island, otherwise we'd have been in some doo-doo trouble), through treacherous crowds and perilous mass transit transfers, we found a privately owned (I think) store and Thank You Jesus they had his headphones.

See this photo?

And this one?

Can you spot the difference? I mean, other than the place, and the time of day and what he's wearing and how he's positioned? Ok, I guess these two photos are nothing alike. But notice the headphones.

This is the result of Ian laying down some serious dolla bills and walking away with his much sought after headphones.

He can now sleep in peace. After I take a picture.
And so, our quest came to a happy and well traveled end (I'll leave out the bit about Ian complaining that the earpads were loose and then we had to go back and switch them. Not a word. Quest is over), and Ian and his headphones lived happily ever after up 'til now. As for ever after, well I can't presume to know, it's only been a couple of weeks!

I hope for a prosperous and long relationship between Ian his headphones (I'm dubbing them Sir Cost-a-lot). May they listen and play music for years to come (Sir Cost-a-lot's got a ways to go to make good on his per use value, you know what I'm saying?).

No, I tease. It was good to spend time with family.

As I bring my Singapore Saga to a close, how about a toast? With a non-alcoholic beverage, Ian! Here's to the Quest and Sir Cost-a-lot's induction into Ian's toy collection. I mean... tool? gear?... we'll just go with Ian's family. Cheers!

How about you? Any stories of a long-winded nature to procure a much desired item? Or a short-winded story? Lots of pictures of an unsuspecting broski? All are welcome!

Up next: India!
(have patience, grasshopper)

PS. You can read about how this all started here. Part I is here, and Part II here.

1 comment:

  1. You did us all... well.... 'well'. Ian hasn't had this much (global) attention in quite some time. I think you covered your 'flower quest' quite succinctly and included all the 'parties' even-if some were not in a 'party mood'. We're looking forward to the India-connection saga :)