R’s Mom has this ‘Why Me’ series and I realised I am quite a Supandi too (this is not to suggest you are a Supandi R’s Mom. Ok quiet.)

So this afternoon I decided to nip out during lunch hour to a mall, have a very quick lunch and look around the shops for some scrapbook paper to complete Benji’s scrapbook. I am very efficient about it – leave a bit early, march down, get the bus, rush to the first store that might stock it, all done by 1.15. Sit down to lunch, which I realise is inordinately expensive but nevermind, in the interest of efficiency.

It is now 1.50 and I should technically leave back for work but I decide I cannot leave having checked only one shop so rush to the other end of the mall to the next shop, with five minuteย vacillationย in between over whether to go left, right or upward. This is a very confusing mall to navigate.

On the way to second shop, pass the exit to the buses and think I really should go back but ignore good sense and rush to second shop instead. Congratulate self on making it there in five minutes.

And that’s when it happens. There’s a big promotional counter at the entrance and I catch the eye of the salesguy and then quickly try to run off, but like an idiot turn back and he says “you you, you be my model”. And why can’t I be like the Chinese girls and put my nose in the air (God knows – nose? – I have enough of it) and walk off but no, I sheepishly let myself be led to the table while chanting “I’m not going to buy anything” and he sits me down and starts running his fingers through my hair and asks me how often I wash it. And looks very surprised when I say twice a week. “Ok every alternate day?” he says, refusing to accept that a human being could shampoo their hair at more than two day intervals.

And then worse. He starts to straighten my hair. But I do not want my hair to be straightened. I like that it is now natural and curly. And it was looking good for once this morning. Perfect in fact. Plus, it looks like he’s going to straighten the entire thing. So I try to confidently suggest he only do the top part, instead of getting the hell out of that chair like any sensible person with control over their own hair would. He nods and proceeds to painstakingly straighten every inch, which I tap my foot and think of the clock but do not put an end to the debacle. Because I am too polite.

The only proud moment was when, after he has inevitably given me the sales pitch on their products and magnanimously says “I won’t tell you to buy all three, just try this one”, I firmly says “I’m not buying anything now but thank you for introducing me to your products”, take one look at my now sleek bob and literally run away. Of course, there is no time to look at the paper which was the point of this exercise.

So I zip back the way I came to the bus stop exit. And rush to my bus. Only I realise I’m not sure if my bus is number 72 or 73 and the entire route is written in Chinese. I’m pretty sure it’s 72, but 73 is there ready and waiting.

You will ย be glad to know that at least I didn’t get into the wrong bus. But I did race back into the mall and across again to a taxi stand. Thankfully, it was smooth sailing from then and the taxi driver did not snort with derision when I told him where I wanted to go and even understood the two Cantonese words I spoke. But I ended up spending on an overpriced lunch plus taxi fare to not get what I originally wanted but to get straight hair that I do not want.