Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sale! Sale! Sale!

This weekend Kinokuniya is having a 20% off sale, so this afternoon we went to their bookshop on Orchard Road, along with half the population of Singapore. The shop is tardis-like in dimension and labyrinthine in layout: I must have spent half an hour looking for books about running, and when I did find them I realised I didn't want any anyway. And I'd walked past them five times without realising.

The aisles were thronged with people hungry for bargains. Kinokuniya's pricing policy is eccentric and impenetrable. If you peel back the sticker and look at the original price, then infer what the apparent Singapore $ to British pound FX rate is, you discover it ranges from 1:1 to 10:1, with all possible values in between. I'm not sure if it's mathematical genius, price gouging or a reason to shop on Amazon.

Still, with all these expensive books, the discounts are even bigger. Although sometimes that means they're still expensive. We ended up with two bags of books and haggard looks on our faces after negotiating our way through the crowd, so we stumbled out and straight into a French cafe to drink tea and eat lemon tarts. Which is not a great example of cultural acclimatisation, but there you are.

After that, the rest is silence. Which is to say I can't talk about wandering the malls of Singapore, looking at slightly-tragic window displays of unsold Guns N Roses boxsets, while my wife got her hair cut. That's the sort of secret I keep close to my chest.


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