austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

You can even eat the dishes

The International Monetary Fund/World Bank meetings must be done; stores' discounts are expiring. One that caught my eye was from The Planet Traveller, which offered free repairs for damaged luggage. That sounds like a pretty good deal, but the fine print reads like something I'd make up. Among the restrictions they put on the posters before you even reach the store:

  • Strictly for delegates upon presentation of their IMF/World Bank identification. I can't fault them for that.
  • Only valid at Marina Square. That's the outlet nearest where they held the meetings.
  • Only for basic repairs. This neatly heads off people coming in with a Charlie Chaplin comedy-style bag consisting of the luggage tag and a wire frame.
  • Only with minimum purchase of S$450. Uhm. If you take all the luggage I've ever owned together it wouldn't be worth S$450. I couldn't imagine spending that much on new luggage items to get a discount on fixing an old bag, and I say that as a person who forms sentimental attachments to everything, including used toothbrushes. I can't see why they would put a restriction that high in except to get people in to the store, who would then feel perfectly gypped. Bizarre.

The one that would have been most useful to me was at Candy Empire, a shop in Millenium (sic) Walk, which sells ... well, the name kind of gives it away. The candies are imported from whole other countries like Australia, Japan, and England, so there's something of an eclectic mix. What I picked up was a couple of MilkyBars -- which are white chocolate bars -- with an innovation not picked up in the majority of Singapore stores: they have (milk chocolate) Smarties mixed in the bar. If a white chocolate bar with milk chocolate insets strikes you as odd, well, it just seems normal to me anymore. The discount was ten percent ``for IMF/World Bank delegates and other customers,'' suggesting they started giving discounts and couldn't bring themselves to stop. Unfortunately the discount only kicks in if you buy twenty dollars worth of candy, and I just can't see buying all that much candy at once. Think of all the MilkyBars that would be at once.

Trivia: The Vatican-issued pamphlet explaining how to work out the date of Easter under the new Gregorian calendar was finished by Christopher Clavius and distributed to parish priests in 1603. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and Its History, E G Richards.

Currently Reading: Impossibility, John D Barrow.


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