Thursday, 13 March 2008

Thin fingers and wrists.. strange day.

Yesterday was a strange day. I didn't particularly do a lot but a few interesting things happened.

I went to Xujiahui to do a quick grocery shop at Cityshop and also to finally get my new Swatch watch fixed.

On 11th Feb, when we went out for our anniversary, the watch just dropped off my wrist. I was like "What the-?" The stupid woman at HK airport mustn't have put it together properly. That was the FIRST time I wore it since I got it (on the 4th Feb).

Ever since then I've been putting off getting it fixed. Well, last week I was randomly browsing Huijin and No.6 Department stores at Xujiahui (Taipingyang/Pacific is closed for a few months for massive renovations. The whole building is covered in scaffolding!)... anyway I passed a Swatch stand and asked if they could fix it for me. They said they can't do it in their 'store' and that I needed to show proof of purchase/warranty, and go across the road, to a building to the left of Metrocity, and go to the 4th floor. Okay...

So I started by having lunch at Novel Plaza. I went to Applebee's and had something similar to what I had at Tony Roma's at Shanghai Center before. A set meal featuring baby back pork ribs - Mmm... It came with fries/wedges, baked beans, and coleslaw (75 RMB).

After that, I went to Cityshop, bought some stuff (249 RMB for only a few things - cry) and asked them to deliver it to me (it's free for purchaes over 100 RMB). Also bought some bread at the bakery next door.

I had a quick look at the department store across the road.. can't remember the name of it. Nothing really interesting or nice there.

Then, I went to the building 'to the left of Metrocity'. It looked like a back entrance and was just a stairwell. I was about to enter it when a woman grabbed my arm, and started talking really quickly to me. I looked down and she had clipboard with a sheet of questions on it. Obviously she was doing some market research survey thingy. I usually ignore these people because I don't want to seem illiterate when I tell them I can't freakin' read the questions! (Usually in Australia I like to help people out if I'm not in a hurry and if there aren't too many questions since I've been in a similar situation on the other side).. so anyway, I was trying to tell her I can't answer the questions but she kept talking...

I realised I wouldn't need to read it if she was verbally asking me so I thought, I may as well try to help. She asked, "Where do you buy toys from? Do you buy them in a hypermarket like Tesco, a department store, a..."
"Err.. I don't buy toys."
"If you were to buy toys, where would you buy them from?"
"I haven't bought any toys since I've been in Shanghai. I'm not a local, I haven't lived here that long."
"How many years have you lived here?"
"Not even one."
"How many kids do you have?"
"Oh, Ok." She realised she was gertting nowhere with me (LOL) and started to then walk away. Before she did though, I asked her...
"Do you know if there is a watch repair place on the fourth floor of this building?"
"No, I don't think so." Then she asked the security guard for me. Then she walked off and I was left talking to the security guard now.
"There's no watch place here, there are no offices here. This is a hotel.
"Every floor is part of the hotel?"
"Yes, the whole building is a hotel."
OK then. (feeling really stupid) "They told me to go to a building to the left of Metrocity. Do you know which one it is?"
"Maybe it's the one behind it."
"Right, OK, thanks."

Sure enough there was a tall office-looking building right behind/beside Metrocity.
I went inside. It looked quite 'posh' and foreign-orientated. There was a Costa Coffee and travel agency/airline office on the first (ground) floor.
I looked at the board at the front and I noticed that Yum restaurants (ie KFC, Pizza Hut, etc) and Microsoft were in the building! It said that Swatch was on the fifth floor. OK, Phew. I got the right building afterall. But the lady said fourth floor.. oh well.

So I went to the fifth floor where a snobby lady at reception asked me what I wanted. I said I was looking for the place to get my Swatch fixed. She said, "Fourth floor, 409." OK.

I waited what seemed like forever, for the lift to take me down one floor.

Well it looked nothing like what I expected. It looked kind of like a bank, or a place to collect a visa, or a place to deal with your health insurance. (I have no photos cos I didn't bring my camera). There were all these little windows like tellers, with a glass front. You had to take a ticket and wait to be served. There were comfy leather lounges to sit and wait on. On one wall there was a big glass window and you could see what they were doing! They were all wearing white lab coats and microscopes on top of their head. It looked very scientific and techy. It wasn't just for Swatches though. It was for lots of major watch companies that are a part of the "Swatch Group" - Omega, Tissot, Rado, Mido, Calvin Klein, Longines, Breuget, Flik Flak, etc. The whole place had similar 'vibe' to the Canon repair center I also went to before.

I was served immediately. She whisked away my watch, and handed me a carbon copy of a form, a receipt sort of. I asked her how long it would take and she said around 10 mins.

I looked at the form and it had a whole series of boxes ticked - band: steel, face: plastic, ladies, etc etc. I also wanted 2 links removed and so it had "-2" written on it as well. I also noticed she had written Feb 4th on there as the warranty date. I thought it was strange how did she know.. but then I looked into my watch case and realised she had taken the warranty card out without me even realising it! (unless I was going mad?)

So, I waited and true to her word it took exactly 10 mins. I went to another window to collect it. They gave me the links back as well. I was about to leave when I realised they hadn't given me back the warranty card - how rude! An accident? Hmm...

So all is well now and the watch finally fits me although I'm still slightly paranoid it's going to drop off my wrist after what happened.

There was a total of 9 links (all of them removable) and in the end I had 6 removed. 4 removed at HK, where I purchased it, and then 2 more. What is so great about having thin/small wrists?!

That morning, My ayi saw my and hubby's wedding rings and asked me about them. She asked me to wear it and show her (I don't wear them out in public because I have paranoia about being mugged, even though I know the chance is really small). She said "Gosh you have such thin fingers!" and I'm like "Yeah, I know. I also had to have the ring resized. Because hubby used the measurement from my right hand, which is a lot fatter than the finger on my left hand." The engagement ring ended up being a size G 1/2 Australian or about 3 1/2 US, which, if you didn't know, is tiny. I think I'm quite a freak because I have friends that are shorter and smaller than me, but my fingers are still thinner than theirs.

I don't know what's so great about having such thin fingers or wrists though. EVERYTHING always has to be adjusted (often at an additional cost) and sometimes when you do this, the design is totally ruined. I can never just walk into a jewellery store and buy something without having to wait to have it altered first. And watches with leather or plastic bands usually look stupid because the band is way too long. My watch now looks nothing like it did when I bought it now, it looks quite strange having so many links 'missing'. (Quite a few of the other Swatch designs that I liked.. when I tried them on in the store I realised that even with every single link taken off it would still be too big, so I was not left with a big range to choose from in the end).


Europe travel survey results by TripAdvisor


In a survey of more than 1100 travellers carried out by TripAdvisor...

Here is the a rundown of the top three in various categories:

Best bargain city: 1. Prague 2. Budapest 3. Lisbon.

Most expensive: 1. London 2. Paris 3. Rome, Venice, Oslo, Moscow (tied)

Most friendly locals: 1. Dublin 2. Amsterdam 3. London.

Most unfriendly locals: 1. Paris 2. London 3. Moscow.

Best cuisine: 1. Paris 2. Rome 3. Florence.

Best shopping: 1. Paris 2. London 3. Rome.

Best nightlife: 1. London 2. Amsterdam 3. Paris.

Best parks: 1. London 2. Paris 3. Barcelona, Amsterdam, Copenhagen (tied).

Most romantic: 1. Paris 2. Venice 3. Rome.

Most attractive locals: 1. Rome 2. Paris 3. Stockholm.

Cleanest: 1. Zurich 2. Copenhagen 3. Stockholm.

Dirtiest: 1. London 2. Paris 3. Rome, Athens (tied).

Most boring: 1. Brussels 2. Zurich, Oslo, Warsaw, Zagreb (tied).