Singapore Adventure

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

And Another Thing!
by venitha

In a bad hair day mood, I attempt to cheer myself up with a popiah (extra chilli, having here) in a nearby basement food court, and afterwards I rack my brain for an easy errand to make the outing more worthwhile.

Hello Kitty crap paraphernalia? No. All stocked up, thanks.

Maternity clothes? No. In spite of the astonishing number of maternity shops in United Square, I am not pregnant. And thank God, because where would I find clothes? In the treacherous depths of my mind, I store away the hideously depressing thought that these maternity stores may actually carry clothes that fit me now, a standard non-pregnant Western woman being about the size of a pregnant Singaporean woman.

Beauty supplies? Well, I certainly could use some pampering to counteract the funk induced by that last thought. And yes! Shampoo! I need shampoo! Upstairs, I unearth a familiar green and white bottle from a bottom shelf.

"You want I show you something new? Better. All natural. No chemical."

Start with a bad hair day, take it for an umbrella-less dash across the street in a fitful drizzle, and then shellac it with the grease of a just-past-the-lunch-rush food court. From within this frizzy masterpiece, I stare at the salesgirl's hair, naturally stick straight. Oh, I know exactly what I want: to hit her, or at the very least, to kick her in the shins. And I also know exactly what I do not want.

I do not want yet another expensive bottle of ineffective defrizzing shampoo.

I do not want the small plastic bag that you'll insist on putting it in, and I really don't want the are-you-from-this-planet look you'll give me when I tell you that I don't want your f-ing plastic bag.

I do not want the whitening creams that will rid me of my apparently-hideous freckle pox.

I do not want the slimming pills, slimming coffees, or strange and scary slimming devices that will rid me of my normal human body shape.

I do not want a two-year membership when all I came for is a one-time visit, and I still don't want it when you discount it to $XX+++, whatever the @!#%?*+++ that means.

I do not want anything floating in my drink.

I do not want that disgusting deep-fried garbage that is sold at supposedly-Western food stalls, and I do not want you to keep steering me toward it.

I do not want to pay S$12 for a bottle of crappy beer.

I do not want beans in my dessert.

I do not want to walk behind you on your meandering cigarette break.

I do not want those worthless flyers you shove at me at the top of every escalator, and I do not want to participate in your stupid survey, not even if you are just a volunteer.

I do not want any more phone calls for Winston. Ah!

I do not want criticism of my attitude from strangers who read this blog and think that entitles them to judge my life.

And I'm not gonna pay for this either!

Okay, that last line worked better when it was Brian's and he had one of those annoying plastic-wrapped wet-wipes to thwack onto the table. (Yes, in napkin-challenged Singapore, many places actually charge for these.) I, unfortunately, had only my bottle of shampoo, which I'm actually quite willing to pay for.

"No, thanks. I'll just take this one. Let me just set it up here straight. Um... sorry."

As I leave the shop, swinging my latest purchase in a pretty purple plastic bag, my hair still looks like hell, but I feel much better.