Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You'd better watch it

Today I went to replace the battery for my watch. I tried a ludicrously expensive shop on Queen's Road first, who sent me down the street to King's, a tiny shop full of watches, and a very old man almost completely hidden behind a stack of boxes. The salesman directed me to him, yelled a bit in Cantonese and then the aged man put on what looked like an Alice band made from pipe cleaners and elastic.

I was a bit confused what this had to do with the price of fish, until he used it to attach a loupe to his eye, and then spent the next ten minutes battling with an adjustable spanner of some strange horological sort, before winding my watch forward to the correct time and passing it back. He got the day wrong, mind, unless it's the 31st of December today, and I wasn't going to complain for an 80 dollar bit of work.

Possibly that's expensive for a watch battery. Maybe if I'd strolled down the street to the little old man in a shed on Pottinger I could have had it done for half the price, but given the savings versus the time, I wasn't too concerned. The irony is that now I have the time, I don't need to get my watch fixed.

That was a pun, in case you didn't notice. Comedy is hard.

(So is making rubbish jokes on the internet for nobody to read. Ah well.)

While I was in King's, the magpie within my soul got the better of me and I started squawking and clawing at the face of the shopkeeper. That's one for sorrow, alright.

Sorry. I mean I became entranced by all the ranks of shiny timepieces, to the point where I was contemplating throwing down thousands of dollars on a new watch, when I was wearing a watch on my wrist that I'd just paid to have fixed. I knew I was in trouble when I asked to see a fairly ludicrous Seiko with a black leather strap and gold hands, including a button that you pressed to make a hand spin round the face of the watch incredibly fast.

I don't wear leather straps, not after humidity and heat melted the wristband on my last watch, but the salesman wasn't to know that, and took my contemplative pause to be a step in the negotiation. So he took 20% off the price without being asked. Which either means the margins on Queen's Road are a bit fat to begin with, or somebody needs to sell a bit more product before Christmas.

Is that a barometer of the global economic situation?

No, silly, it's a watch. Barometers are big old things you stick to the wall to help predict the weather. It must be the dial that's confusing you.


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