In defence of Sim Lim Square

Sim Lim Square back to old habits?
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Geek Central isn’t so bad, at least not when I was there last week to get some stuff for my brother in law in China (because it’s worse over there – you can hardly get any non-pirated stuff for a reasonable retail price, apparently).

At several shops on the fourth and fifth floors, I found sales staff to be polite and helpful to the point where, when they saw me to be on the verge of overspending on a particular product, asked what my (or my brother-in-law’s) purpose for the product was, and then recommended a cheaper alternative because what we intended to get was, in their opinion, a bit of an overkill.

Of course, customers unaccustomed to Sim Lim Square Salesspeak might find the way they help you rude or intrusive, because the conversation went something like:

Salesman: So you want to buy the Seagate Barracuda 1TB?

Me: Yes. And an external combo casing – with firewire and USB.

Salesman: Firewire and USB, can. Wait. You want to take this HD (brandishes HD) and put it in an external case?

Me: Um.. yah.

Salesman: Har? What for?

Me: To use as external drive lah.

Salesman: Har? But this HD is server grade one leh.

Me: Yah, I know.

Salesman: Also can lah, up to you lah, but if me hor, I won’t use so high end HD.

Me: Then what would you use?

Salesman: Cheaper drive lah. Also will last quite long. How many people in your house? 2, 3? Good enough lah.

Me: OK, if you say so.

Salesman: Yah. I get for you the lower end one. Eh? Wait wait wait. You want to use for external drive is it?

Me: Yah.

Salesman: Haiyah, then get the all-in-one lah. Maxtor or Seagate also have. Good enough for your use. Cheaper also.

Me: Issit?

Salesman: Yah. But up to you lah.

Me: You say what is what lor. OK, Maxtor one how much?

I dunno. I didn’t find it pushy. Plus, I got further discounts when I paid by NETS at several shops.

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Advertorial: born again adidas

bornagainadidas.jpg
give your old shoes new life

So, adidas thought up this idea, called born again adidas, of getting people to trade-in their old sports shoes for a pair of new ones, and I was told that they’d have collection points at various adidas retailers across the island, and I was curious enough to agree to bring in one of my old shoes for them to throw away.

No, the sales staff at the shop at The Cathay didn’t want to inspect my old shoes, like they do when you bring in a mobile phone to trade-in, so they didn’t have to wear gloves or a face mask, because, you know, the natural pong of old shoes can be quite significant, and you can’t pay sales staff enough to handle biohazards like that.

Instead, there was a large collection bin with a hole on top, where you’re invited to throw your old shoes in. You have to tell the staff of your intentions first though, because you can’t just waltz in and anyhowly chuck your shoes in and then claim to have done so when the staff aren’t looking. That’s just unfair, and silly.

The terms and conditions that adidas put down are, however, just, fair, and for a good cause.

For every twenty pairs of shoes that are collected, the staff will draw lots to see which lucky staff member gets to handle the old shoes, and then the poor dude will put them all together and throw them away, and then, here’s the important part – adidas will donate a new pair to charity – namely, Gracehaven Salvation Army and the Andrew and Grace Home.

But that, folks, is not all. For your pair of old/dirty/worn/broken sports shoes, adidas will give you up to $50 discount on a new pair of adidas*.

born again adidas

For mine, it was an eight year old pair of sports shoes whose soles have cracked, and cracked soles are no good, because they let air and water in, and if I had to name those shoes, they’d be called Air (and Water).

Now, I’m normally reticent about attending public events and such like, but the opportunity to give new life to a pair of my old sports shoes was just a little bit too good to pass up on, and I didn’t mind battling traffic and The Cathay’s horrendous labyrinth known as the car park (where they’ve needed to paint yellow footprints on the floor so that people would know where the door to the shops were, because the fella that painted the directional arrows on the walls didn’t do a good job but that’s another story…) to throw my shoes in the bin and get a new pair. Any old pair, you know? Not just adidas.

When I was shown the Bin Of Old Shoes, I stuck my head in, and before I could fathom and articulate why I did that, one of the nice folks at the adidas shop said, “yah, it’s not that smelly, actually”. So they must have been compelled to do what I did too. There are some things you just do, right? Like bubble wrap? No?

Never mind me then, but if you have an old pair of sports shoes you want to retire – bring them down to adidas and give them new life!

*Terms & Conditions: Now your filthiest, mankiest old sports shoes can get you $50 off a brand new pair of adidas Bounce shoes and $30 off other adidas sports shoes with a minimum shoe value of $100. But your trainers can only be reborn again when you choose regular priced items. The Bounce Medals range, adidas Originals, Stella McCartney and golf shoes are not included in this offer. And remember to bring your dirty, old trainers by 7th September 2008 when the promotion ends. So start digging them out now.