Sunday, 6 December 2009

there's a small matter of that $1.61

there's not many things that don't fly with me. however, some things just don't. like durian-flavoured ice-cream with whipped cream. like fake smiles. like cannibalistic acolytes who won't serve sweet carnivorous ewok jesus. like people who still don't believe in the end of days being brought about by genetically-enhanced super-velociraptors. but many of these things breach the realm of improbability (for example, amongst my listed, durian-flavoured ice-cream with whipped cream. really, whipped cream? why not just eat it with cholesterol extracted from myocardial-infarcted cadaveric atria?)

it's nowhere as delicious as it looks. at least with whipped cream added.

premise the 1st:
i went to the local grocery store and bought a bottle of that thai chilli sauce. labelled at $7.39, when they usually sell for ~$12 a bottle, i was happy enough to just grab a bottle and head for the check-out counter. note two things: firstly being that i intended to buy, and only to buy, a bottle of sweet thai chilli sauce, which is what i ended up doing, without diverging attention or coin to other products (admittedly i did browse the haagen-dazs ice creams for any new flavour, since i know for a fact that there is a new flavour out, dark chocolate and orange. but there was none, so we'll forget this slight sidetrack). and secondly, the bottle was labeled as having contents of 800 oz. this isn't 60's america, get with the times and start labeling in metric. the french, genevans and pretty much every other nationality in the world swear at you.

at the counter, while in line, i already count out my exact change to pay for the item, and i'm surprised to find that upon swiping the bar code, the cashier tells me it costs $9. now, before you can argue that maybe, i mistook the label per quote from the aisle, just, no. i check these kind of things at least thrice before even picking up the bottle to look at whatever it is i'm purchasing. so, just no.

to cut the story short (as i've got a second premise below), there's a small matter of $1.61.

premise the second:
at the local bookstore. and when i say 'local' this means i have to travel into the heart of the city, because there's no such thing as a good bookstore where i live :(. i'm searching for a specific book, lewis carroll's 'through the looking glass'. now, i've been to this bookstore, kinokuniya, before. many times, in fact, such that i know for a fact that there's a whole section of classics in paperback (hence, being cheap).

however, since the last time i've been there, things have been changed around a bit, and i have no idea where the classics are - could they still be under lierature? or are they now under classics? maybe they've just lumped all the associated books under the children's section? so i go to one of those electronic self-help stations and query the book, to find that there's at least 5 different versions of the book in question. being the pragmatic person that i am, i plot a course through the aisles. the first book i encounter is a combo of 'alice in wonderland' and 'through the looking glass' in the literature section. already having the latter book as a stand alone, i'm not too inclined to buy this book, but i pick it up anyway, and head to the next section, classics.

unfortunately, the whole section's been re-arranged and i couldn't make out where each book was supposed to be - i have to admit, i am still unfamiliar with the dewey decimal system, but this was supposed to be in trder of author surname, so...

off to the information kiosk we go, and i ask the lovely, although obviously uninterested and slightly annoyed girl (who can really blame her, as it's about 10 p.m. on a sunday night, when most people would be happy to lounge at home with their families or be out partying in some form or another). she types in a few words on her keyboard (far too little to be the title of the book i'm searching for, though) and clicks furiously for a few seconds before informing me that there's only one version of the book they have in store, which is, unbeknownst to her at this point, the one i already am holding in my hand concealed by the countertop. as she hands me a slip of paper directing me to the book, which is now not on the shelves anymore, i kindly inform her that i have already looked there, and have found the book she's mentioning; would she be kind enough to locate the other versions of the book in store that are cheaper and would be more to my preference. with a quick wave of her hand, straightly staring into my eyes, she says 'takde la encik, tu je yang ada' (i'm sorry, sir, that's the only one we have in store. i don't look that old to warrant an 'encik', do i? at least an 'abang' or something, i reckon).

anyway, i'm thoroughly unsatisfied with this explanation and effort (or, definitely, the lack thereof). coupled with the ample time i have in waiting on some people having dinner, i embark on a personal quest to find these other versions of the book. again to make the story short, about 45 minutes later, i end up with all 5 versions of the book, with varying prices from $8.50 to $35, the priciest being the one i had initially plucked off the shelves.

in the end, i leave the store with, instead of the one book i was looking for, four penguin paperbacks (with the standard price of $8.50 each, covering most of the classics that i'm interested in), and save one buck.

was the one odd dollar worth it? mos def.

joke of the day courtesy of my sister:

there's a toothbursh ad on telly:
'... with the ability to brush cheek and tongue...'

princess: why would you want to brush chicken tongue?


njahmat said...

i think she was well-trained. because not a lot of people would know to address people encik/puan/miss, usually they just tibai kakak, aunty, regardless of how they young or old they look.

i think encik was just a sign of respect. my mom would get hysterical if someone calls her aunty. she would say "sejak bila saya kahwin dengan uncle awak?". and I'll throw my best apologetic face to the worker who doesn't know any better=) and then take off!

etc said...

hah i guess this is true. not sure about the well-trained part, though. to be honest, she was kinda rude, but i'm an ends-justifies-means person so i didn't really mind that much.

i do notice that (young) women are a bit pernickety about being called makcik, and sometimes use this to my advantage :p

edit: spelling