4.11.03

The computer ate my blog post!

It really did! Last night! Don't flunk me!

My computer is wont to shut down of its own accord. No, let me be more precise. It doesn't so much shut down as that the screen suddenly goes off, but you can hear the hard drive still spinning, but nothing else happens. No beeping sounds. No blue screen of death. No anything. Just blackness. And the constant spinning to tease you into thinking that it might come back on any minute now.

The guy who fixes my computer when it's wonky doesn't know what the problem is. He's tweaked this and the other setting, and he really has no idea. On the bright side, the problem didn't get worse after he tweaked. It's just unpredictable. Which means that typing blog entries on the fly (as I'm doing right now) can be somewhat on-the-edge-of-your-ergonomic-chair exhilarating. Never know when it's all going to go *poof*.

Well, when last night's entry went *poof*, I went to veg out on the couch in front of the TV and hand-wrote it instead. So now I present you: last night's blog entry.

November 3, 2003 (at about 8:45 pm)
This episode is brought to you by the letter B and the number 3

I got to play personal shopper today. Sadly, it wasn't as much fun as it looks on TV. However, I did get to visit not one, but three Singapore Museum Shops in the span of 1½ hours.

(Yeah, we have museum shops in Singapore. I knew Singapore had arrived as a Major Arts Centre when the first shop opened up a few years ago. I can't remember if that was before or after the Metropolitan Museum of Art Shop showed up on the local scene. Yes, we have that too. Can't be a real Renaissance City without having an overpriced, chi-chi museum shop of your own.)

I was sent with a budget at the behest of a bigwig to buy something 'local' and gift-worthy that didn't necessary alliterate with 'b' (though it did, eventually). My boss (oh, look, a 'b'!) suggested the Museum Shop because haven forbid we buy something representative of Singapore from a local artisan.

So I popped down to the shop at the Singapore Art Museum (known un-affectionately and ridiculously as 'SAM' in local parlance, like it's a pet or something). The airconditioning was nice after the walk from City Hall; the road works immediately outside the museum, where they've rerouted the road to dig the Circle MRT line, not so nice. Upon my inquiries about more "local" items that I'd seen in the Shop's online catalogue, I was informed that this particular outlet stocked more 'modern' items and that I should try the Empress Place Shop.

So I popped over there, by bus then realised I could've walked, but just as well I didn't, 'cause there was more walking in store for me later. Anyway, the staff at the Empress Place Shop were helpful, but after some browsing and hasty consultation with the boss via cellphone, we settled on a book (see, the final 'b'!): Singapore -- A Pictoral History, 1819-2002.

Only the Empress Place Shop had sold out of English editions, though the History Museum outlet (whew!) had a few left.

The Force was not strong with me today.

So I had to go to a third Museum Shop, and it was over at Riverside Point, where the History Museum's been temporarily relocated in a shopping mall, while the original buildings are being restored/renovated. Yes, that's not a typo --- a mall.

From a boatman's point of view, getting from Empress Place to Riverside Point was just a jaunt down the river. From the pedestrian's, it was a good 10-15 minute walk (in boots). From the public transport commuter's --- impossible. The fact that a river runs through our downtown, as well as the way the roads evolved in that area, including a predilection for narrow one-way streets, pretty much maens that to get anywhere in a non-aquatic vehicle downtown, you have to go at least three times the distance to circle around to where you actually want to get to.

So I walked. The sun wasn' ta problem, but it was a little humid. And lo, on the fourth floor of Riverside Point, there was the shop --- with the book --- finally.

Fortunately, Clarke Quay MRT station was practically right next door, so I didn't have to walk much further to catch a train home. Now I just have to remember to bring the damn gift to work tomorrow.

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