Oh boy, if only we are able to eradicate wax from our ears with the same mechanism as how we rid ourselves of our bodily wastes.
For the past week, I’ve been (and I still am) partially deaf, thanks to a completely blocked right ear. And what I can say after this entire experience is – never take the ability to hear for granted.
Speaking at a volume which most people consider as “normal” is a challenge. Because of the blocked ear, my voice reverberates inside my head as I speak, so I sound much louder (to myself) than I really am. So I end up speaking at a volume much softer than usual. Which also means I have to repeat myself more.
Trying to talk at my regular volume gives me a headache. (Thanks to my voice reverberating in my head.)
I can’t quite hear as well too – which also means my friends have to repeat themselves more.
And sometimes I just don’t feel like asking people to repeat themselves (and I don’t even want to explain how I can’t hear properly in one ear – because it invites a deluge of questions which I don’t want to answer) so I just nod my head and pretend I understood them.
Unless of course, they asked a question (which I didn’t hear).
Then, cue the awkward silence.
Wishing one an all a Happy Chinese New Year of the Horse. Take this year to horse around as much as you can, and be nice to all your neigh-bours.
Note: “Fat” is a dialect for “fa” in Mandarin, which means “prosper”.
This Chinese New Year has been quiet. Apart from visiting dad’s side of the family in the morning, mom’s side decided to keep it quiet this year because we lost grandma last year. It all feels a bit strange.
This evening, I was at Takashimaya boots-hunting for my bestie’s upcoming wedding.
Chanced upon this lovely pair of boots from Hush Puppies, tried it on and fell in love with it instantly. As I paraded in front of the mirror and admiring them, I was soon painfully aware of something sharp digging into my ankles from both sides.
I remove the boots and felt around – and noticed that the knotted thread edges were sticking out of the fabric and pointing inwards. It wasn’t your usual soft thread as well. It was stiff and felt plasticky. My enthusiasm for the boots fizzled somewhat.
So I asked to try another pair, and the salesperson happily obliged. (I guess she could tell I really loved the boots.)
Unfortunately, the second pair was much worse. It felt like I was wearing a prickly hedgehog around my ankles.
The salesperson overheard my gripes and tried to help. She said she’d do something about it, took the boots aside and did something with them while I waited. Later on, she returned with the boots. To my delight, they no longer hurt.
“What did you do with them?” I asked her.
“Ooh, I cut off all the threads! So they won’t be poking you anymore!” was her reply.
All the blood drained from my face.
“WHAT?!” I exclaimed. I picked up a boot and looked closely at it. The knots were all gone. I gingerly tapped on the fabric. Just as I expected, part of the fabric fell apart. Now, I no longer had a prickly knots problem, but a loose thread problem. And not just one loose thread. Plenty of them.
“Um, I think you shouldn’t have done that. Because now the threads are loose!” I pointed out to her.
“No, the design is like that one (sic)!” The salesperson responded, as she began doing the same with the second pair of boots I tried.
“Uhh,” I tried to stop her, but it was too late.
Snip, snip, snip! went her clippers and all the knots fell off.
Now, I had two defective pair of boots on my hands. They were pretty pricey too, at $159. And surely, I wouldn’t want to spend that kind of money on a pair of boots with the fabric falling apart. (At least with the prickly knots, I could have filed them down or applied some kind of coating. :()
I sighed. The salesperson was still looking at me expectantly.
My dad who was shopping with me, caught on the situation and asked. “Do you have another pair?”
The salesperson looked slightly put off.
“No, we only have two pairs of each size. If you’re still not happy with the boots, you can go to another outlet,” she replied, frowning slightly.
I hesitated. Part of me felt rather bad because she had assisted us a lot. But well, her “help” had led to a much worse outcome – two damaged pair of boots. :(
Eventually, I decided to pass on them. I handed the boots back to her, thanking her twice.
She simply took the boots from me, shoved them back into the box and slammed the lid back on. Obviously, she was pissed.
Well, as a consumer, I do have the right to choose what I want to pay for, and to receive defect-free goods, especially when they are priced highly.
But still, I felt guilty and a little sorry for her.