Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Evening of new, unexpected encounters

I must have been trying hard to do whatever is possible to make this world more bearable for myself to live in. In times of feeling disheartened, I choose the healthy way to walk. That was what happened last evening.

After clearing a bit of paperwork, I left my office slightly after the official knock-off time. I found it easier to take a MRT train to Orchard Station. There I started my evening walk.

I had offered to purchase a few items for someone, so last night I was hunting to find those items within the allocated budget. Anyway, it did not matter what, I just needed an excuse to be out. Actually, I don't need an excuse to be out, I just decided it might as well be helpful to someone while allowing myself to go out for a breather.

As usual, I walked alone, but last evening, I did so in a crowd. There are advantages to be walking alone. Firstly, the best part of going alone is that I could be in more control over the pace of walking. Secondly, I could save some hassle of finding a company. Thirdly, I fear intrusion of my personal space that I gave up all that may be nice about having a company so as to maintain some space.

New: Food Republic, at Wisma Atria
Along the way, I saw this sign when I was at Wisma Atria shopping mall.

I went up to the fourth level of Wisma Atria and saw a new eating place, the Food Republic. This is a place where one could get a selection of tasty local food as well as specialty cuisines from other parts of the world. So, here in one single eating place, one could find inexpensive food as well as slightly more extravangant-costing meals. I rather not describe too much in detail, you have to visit it and see it for yourself.

Anyway, here's from the Wisma Atria's website:

Food Republic #04-00

Showcasing 14 stalls of local must-haves and 8 specialty diners comprising cuisines from various parts of the world, Food Republic is indeed an appetizing destination with an unforgettable sensory adventure.

Food Republic will win votes with its fresh concept that embraces the joy of dining in a holistic manner, a stirring range of cuisine, vivacious ambience and aroma, providing customers an exciting and memorable dining experience, one that they will want to repeat regularly

Take a little peep.

In the end, I settled for an affordable meal consisting of Chinese pork chop, curry chicken, rice with curry, cabbage and fried egg for dinner. It costs S$3.80 (which is about USD$2.26), and comes with a free bowl of soup boiled with red dates. The soup goes well with the curry rice.

My dinner last evening.

But to tell you the truth, I felt rather spoilt for choice, if not the fact that I was trying to be disciplined in keeping within budget. There were Japanese food, Korean food, Thai food, Muslim food, burgers, and a whole lot more that I have yet to name, all found within Food Republic. By the way, I got to find out that Food Republic was only opened late last week.

After dinner, I went to the basement of the shoppping mall. This large-size aquarium at the basement of the mall has been here since I was very young, say about eight years old. When I was much younger, I used to enjoy peering through the glass to see what was inside. Nostalgic feelings struck.

Whoever it was to think of having a large aquarium inside a shopping mall must have known that children would be enticed. I was. The only thing is that I pity the fishes and sharks for being confined to the limited space.

Metro gift-card
I went around looking for the items required. I stopped at Paragon Metro to make the purchase. The female staff who served me was very helpful.

I realised that a new gift-card is now available from Metro. Despite me asking a lot of questions so as to clarify the differences between the new gift-card and the gift voucher, the female staff was very polite in having all questions well answered. Here, I thank her. So one item was off the list. That pleased me.

Street Eyebrows Stylist

After that I was out to buy cards, within the budget. It seemed very difficult to find nice cards within the budget so I walked to check out a lot of places, but to no avail.

Then when I was nearby Tangs shopping centre, unexpectedly this guy sprung up from who knows where. He rattled, and I must have been too focused in searching for the remaining of the items such that I did not quite figure out what he had wanted. Only after some time, I realised he is a street eyebrows stylist.

He claimed that he has been in the business for four years, and he would appreciate to be given a chance to display his skills. Gosh, folks, I have hardly trim or pluck my eyebrows. I was a little skeptical. But this gentleman sounded so sincere in sharing his art, and he has this air of confidence in his craft, that I ended up agreeing to take some time out for him to shape my eyebrows. Maybe giving him a chance might be a gift to him to support him in the pursuit of his dreams? I don't know if I had been too kind?

The next thing I knew, he asked me to lean against a nearby wall, and off he went to trim the eyebrows. It hurt a little, though not painful enough for me to scream along the streets.

I wish he had realised that I need some quiet time. He was asking me lots of questions about my hobbies, my profession, and about music (because he found out I play the double bass) while he was shaping my eyebrows. However, I would have been more delighted if I could remain silent. In fact, I tried to avoid answering his questions wherever it seemed polite to do so.

He said he was trying to entertain me and help distract me from the slight pain of having eyebrows plucked. Yet, in me, I thought I might be more relaxed if he hadn't talked so much, and just concentrate. But well, I need to recognise people are made differently, and how I see things may not be how others see the same ones. He was most likely trying to be as helpful as he can be.

Anyway, when he was done, and I saw the end-product, I saw that at least he had shaped my eyebrows decently enough such that I did not faint after seeing the end-product. Satisfactory. He was in fact pleased with his work. But he must not have known that yours truly, isn't an appreciator of eyebrow shaping to tell whether or not he has done a fantastic job. So well, I really have no idea if he has done a good job yet. But I do admire that he could choose a rather unconventional way to earn a living in Singapore.

He said out his website loud and clear, and even offered me his mobile number so that I could know how to contact him if I should like his services in the future. So here is his website: http://www.stevenlim.net

I went to his website much later. Hmmm....he's into entertainment, aside from eyebrow shaping?

Finally, I managed to decide on a few of the remaining items. It took me about one hour to search and to finally decide on these.

The office in nowhere

One item left. It was a voucher from one of the supermarkets. I could not remember if there were any of that chain of supermarkets in Orchard area, so I headed back to my neighbourhood on the MRT train. I knew there was one outlet of that supermarket in my neighbourhood. The journey took about 15 minutes.

When I was at the supermarket, I asked the staff at the counter for help with the purchase of gift vouchers. She pointed to a door about one minutes walk away. She said if I were to go in through that door, I would be able to find an office where the gift vouchers were sold.

I listened to her instructions and walked towards the door. I felt a little shaky that there was a sign that says "No Entry" on the door. When I walked through the door, I could only see lots of goods being stored at the storage area. Where on earth could the office be? But the staff at the counter had clearly stated I should walked through that very door.

Although hesitant, I followed the instructions. I saw a man, and I delightedly asked for help. He pointed to another door and said he would help me. He walked up to that other door and knocked it. While he knocked on the door, I thought to myself,

A lady came out from an office. The lady was nice and after understanding what I had wanted, she helped me to get the gift vouchers which I had been tasked to get. This meant all items have been purchased, and my mission for last evening was accomplished.

Well, I thought there were quite a few new and unexpected (perhaps strange) encounters last evening.


emily said...


i can't believe you got your eyebrows plucked by that guy! it was really brave...

Anonymous said...

strange encounters are sometimes the best thing for the soul. cheer up honey.

mistipurple said...

sounds like a fun evening! you were so kind to allow him to do a job. if the world has more of your kind, there will be less wars. honest. :)

mistipurple said...

and i must say HI to my sweet MITZ up there!! she's a doll.

Simple American said...

Wow! The food is so cheap. It would easily cost me double what you pais and prolly lots more here.

How much are hotel rooms?