A work buddy of mine is making a trip down to Singapore. I haven't been in almost 4 years, but I thought I'd offer up some advice on what to do when one finds one's self on the equator. So I dug up notes from 2002 wherein I ventured to a store that sells $5000 cellphones. (Thanks to Syl for keeping my ramblings in archive!)
=======insert Wayne's World Flashback music here=====
lightness. darkness. a long-shot of a mountain range. an extreme close-up of what could be a man's nostril. These images softly assail me from the LCD panels hanging from the ceiling. I look around - the showroom, if it can be called that, screams neuvo-Europa, but in a subdued kind of way. It's actually a bit schizophrenic. Welcome to the Paragon, Home of Vertu, I say to myself. I feel pretty darn uncomfortable, but I steel myself, knowing that what I am about to do is for the good of mankind.
rewind 15 minutes. I'm in the hotel, changing from the dress shirt I was wearing all day into a freshly pressed shirt I packed just for the occasion. The shirt is starched so sharp, I can cut vegetables with my collar. I look in the mirror, and practice my aloof "yes, yes, I've seen it before. If my employer didn't insist on it, I wouldn't even be here" expression. Snicker. Gotta watch that.
Off to present. My shirt is already damp from the Enterprise-class humidity (that's 99.999% for the marketing-to-English translation) and no longer looks sharp. I'd be lucky to chop tofu with my collar now. My aloof, worldly expression has transformed itself into one of bewilderment and confusion. This is one weird store. The display pedestals which showcase the phone, nay, communication devices, suggest icy pillars reaching to the heavens (in case the heavens wanted to order out for a flood or tornado, I suppose). These displays, obviously, do not add to my comfort level.
"Weeeelcome Mr. Hideo!" sings Samantha, a sales/marketing manager at Vertu. She is dressed in black, no doubt to match the decor of the showroom.
"Hello, you must be Samantha."
"Yeeees! We were SOooo looking forward to meeting you. Please, this way," she purred, as she lead me to one of three back offices.
There, in the clean and minimalist dark-coloured office, sat Caroline, the assistant Boutique Manager (also dressed in black, by the way).
"This is Caroline, she will be attempting to understand Ms. Sylvia's needs and desires."
(Uh..that's an awful lotta prying. Maybe you should ask Sylvia these things directly!)
"But of course," I reply nonchalantly.
Samantha then graciously slides out, leaving me alone with the ever-smiling Caroline....
to be continued!