Thursday, October 13, 2011

Singapore is not as easy as Hong Kong

Perhaps I've been spoiled by the shops in Hong Kong, but it seems more difficult to buy things in Singapore. In central Hong Kong I can leave the office and go and buy a baguette, or a widescreen television, or a paperback novel, late into the evening.

I walk out of my office by Raffles Place, and the closest bookshop has closed ten minutes ago, and the whole of the mall is turning its lights off apart from a few cafes in the basement.

Maybe I'm in the wrong part of town. Perhaps I should go north on the MRT to Orchard, but I do miss the way that you don't have to go any distance in Hong Kong to buy things.

Against that, I have to admit that my convenience is someone else's cost. It's a rather sad state of affairs to have a society that keeps somebody standing behind a counter on the minimum wage for twelve hours, on the off-chance that I'll sidle in and buy a new mobile phone/toaster/bottle of flame-retardant hair dye.

I did manage to find a few shops that were open: Running Circle, where none of the shoes fit my enormous, spade-like feet, and I inadvertently purchased a Dutch protein bar made with gelatin, when all other such bars just use whey. I don't really want to chow down on reconstituted cow hooves, but I don't know anyone else I can pass it on to.

As well as the protein bar, the same company makes an energy gel that comes in a toothpaste tube, and tastes utterly gopping. So all in all, it would have been better if all the shops had been shut, not just the ones that didn't sell revolting sports "food".

Changing tack, I've been exercising for three days now, so I have lots of sweaty gym kit to have cleaned. I rang the front desk to ask if there was a laundry service, and shortly a man arrived with a bag for me and a form to fill in. And then left, after which I discovered I have no pens in the entire apartment, and I'm very very angry. Which is... interesting.


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