June 27th, 2006

krazy koati

We made enough mistakes

I've been spoiled by many things in Singapore, like frequent and abundant bus service, but one of the little things is the fact that stores stay open Sunday evenings. There are some places that close early -- the AppleCentre in Funan closes anytime ordinary mortals might walk in, for example -- but for the most part, anyplace that'd be open at 9 pm on a Saturday night is also open at 9 pm on a Sunday night.

So it's an adjustment, one I don't always make successfully, coming back home and finding that on Sunday nights there are places I might want to go that will close as early as five or six pm. Even the places that are supposedly open longer will close sooner. My first expedition to Barnes and Noble last night ended with the discovery that the 11:00 closing hour of the store drops to 9 pm, so that I got in just as they started the really insistent warnings about we will be closing in ten minutes so please make your final selections and pay attention to the tolerant glares of store clerks as you poke around.

I hadn't yet found anything I particularly wanted to buy, but 'm sure I'll get back sometime soon. Instead I wandered around trying to find a Chapstick, since I didn't get the kind I liked before leaving Singapore and what was remaining of my lemon-flavored lip balm was a loose collection of waxy lumps. It turns out lip balm is another thing surprisingly hard to get in the suburbs Sunday after 9 pm. Part of that problem was the first store I tried, a Target, had about a dozen people waiting in each of the three lines, each person with a shopping cart full of stuff, leaving me to wonder how there can be that much stuff that needs to be bought at 9 pm on a Sunday from Target. I tried a couple other likely places -- convenience stores and the like -- but managed to get myself reversed driving a few times, so I kept getting back to the highway I was trying to drive away from. That was just my failure to pay proper attention to the road orientation, though, and not a sign of a topological catastrophe in central New Jersey.

Trivia: Sergei Korolev was arrested by the NKVD on 27 June 1938. Source: Something New Under the Sun, Helen Gavaghan.

Currently Reading: The Design of Everyday Things, Donald A Norman.