I prepared myself for a grueling day — slept for 8 hours, made sure my shoes were comfortable, and refilled my own water bottle.
Sim Lim is not for the faint of heart. It has 7 floors (the basement included) of electronics, and is touted as Singapore’s (and even Asia’s) largest computer center. If I want to get my flight fare’s worth, I knew I needed to do one helluva walking & bustling.
And so my trek began. Expectedly, salesmen flocked around me. They were the vultures, and I was the prey — a female tourist wandering about in her lonesome. It didn’t take long for them to realize I have a photographic memory of the complete price lists of Amazon & Newegg. And that yes, I knew the difference between a RAM and a hard drive.
And finally, I was alone once again, peeping inside stores, inconspicuously rummaging through aisles, and smiling as angelically as possible when I demanded a S$300 price cut.
Finally, I was almost done: an AspireOne netbook, and the usual trinkets of card readers, retractable cables, portable speakers, etc.
It was time for my last stop … to paradise on the first floor: cellphones.
The first store was the usual horror story. The salesman raised his voice upon learning I wanted to try out the phone with my SIM card.
“No! You buy, then you try!”
I giggled in his face, which irked him even more, and skipped away. It was, after all, too cheap to be true.
And finally, I saw them — two young sales persons smiling welcomingly at me. No pressure, no waves. They just suddenly knew I was coming, & they were ready. I sat on the chair in their booth (because I hate standing up), and rattled off my phone shopping list — an N96, two unlock SIMs for my iPhone, and the cheapest Nokia phone they have in stock.
The boxes started piling in front of me. More European & American tourists followed my lead and brought out their SIM cards to try out their new goods. While waiting for my unlock SIMs, I gave a handful of tourists an overview on how to unlock their iPhones, and the difference between a “jailbreak” & an “unlock.” Pretty soon, their won’t be a difference, I told them.
Finally, my goods were ready, my weary credit card swiped, and my GST tax refund slip printed. I was ready to head off to my hotel.
Boxes in hand, I went out the building. But I had to look back at Sim Lim one more time. Til next time.