Monday, December 16, 2013

黑店 (Black Shop) In Funan

So recently, I started playing Starcraft. Thanks to J of course. 

Initially, I was a bit reluctant to try because I know I have a tendency to get addicted to computer games. 

Well, eventually I gave in. 

Gotta say, it's a HEAP OF FUN!!! 

Soon after getting hooked to SC2, I decided to get a mouse. 

This one. 

J and I headed to Funan Digitalife Mall where he got his DeathAdder 2013 the week before. He got it at the full price of $99 at Game Marts, while i decided to get mine at Challenger for $96+ (thanks to the membership discount).

And of course, if I got a mouse, I would have to get a good mousepad too right? 

Challenger's price for this mousepad was $16+ with a 10% membership discount available. However, they were sold out of the No. 9 Armaggedon mousepads, so we went walking around Funan looking for other shops that had it. 

Many shops that we went to did not have No. 9 in stock. Still, we asked for average prices and they all hovered around $16+. 

Finally, we found ONE No. 9 mousepad in this shop called Dell by Addon

I was so happy, I picked up the box immediately and looked for the cashier. There was only one guy working at the tech desk, so I asked him to check the price for the mousepad. He signalled for me to wait then walked over to a man near the entrance of the shop who appeared to be the boss. 

Guess what was the price he quoted me? 



I saw the look on the boss' face and realised he was assessing our profiles to see whether we could be "knocked" for more money. 

Being a good-natured friendly dude (I was not so patient- I already demanded to leave), J asked the tech guy if he could check once more if the price was correct. Perhaps he had heard wrongly. 

Tech guy goes off to check the price. Comes back with the same exact quote for $79.90. 

Furious at the shop's blatant cheating methods, I retorted to the tech guy: "DO YOU KNOW EVERY SHOP IN FUNAN IS SELLING THIS MOUSEPAD FOR $16???"

Guess what was the cute little excuse he gave me? 

"I'm sorry but when we ordered the mousepad, it was a long time ago and we ordered it at the price of $79.90"

Uh yeah okay. A quick price check online will show what the average price of the Aegis Falcon mousepad really is. $16+ NOT $79.90.

Gosh if they're able to quote such prices for a mousepad, I shudder to think what they're quoting for the other more expensive products in the store. 

Moral of the story: CAVEAT EMPTOR. 


Monday, December 09, 2013

The U.S. vs Singapore

I've been feeling uncertain about the future recently. People keep asking if I'm going to stay in Singapore for good. I tell them "yes", and they always give me a look of surprise. 

They ask: "But why? Isn't the U.S, better?"

I would tell them "not really", then proceed to explain why. 
Usually, these are the reasons I give:

1) It's not really better per se, it's just different. 
2) Most of my family's in Singapore, but I have friends in the U.S. who I miss too
3) It's expensive in Singapore but generally more convenient (public transport wise)
4) Many things are cheaper in the U.S. but it can get boring
5) Singapore's also boring
6) The economic centre of the world has shifted to Asia
7) U.S. is better for simple living

You know the thing is, I could come up with a thousand reasons why Singapore is better than the U.S. and vice versa. That's why you just can't compare them head on like that. 

It's just that, after so much questioning regarding my decision to move back to Singapore, I'm starting to wonder if I made the right move after all? 

After all, there are PLENTY of Singaporeans who are just dying to get out of this country. 

I love my work here in Singapore though- I really do. I know that if I move back to the U.S., I would have to give that up. I'd miss the two years I spent skating all over this urban city. I'd miss the food and the friends I've made and gotten closer to as well. There'd be no more Chinese New Year visits or family potlucks. 

Still, being in the U.S. seems like a great idea too.

Talk about starting a family... And all that good stuff!

But the more I think about the future, the more I get worried and anxious. How can I know that I'll be making the right decisions? How can I maximise all the opportunities I have to create something long and lasting?

The truly worrying part is- I can't. I simply don't know and I cannot know. 

All I can be certain of in this life is my God in whom I trust. He is the only one who never changes. People come and go, nations rise and fall, but the Lord my Rock remains the same. His love and mercy is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Praise God for His unending love! Because of Him, I can live without fear of tomorrow!