Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sundays from Singapore: The little things

Singapore skyline. Photo by Christopher Chan

Are you guys tired of these posts yet?? Let me know if you are and I will stop torturing you!

August 8, 2001

I need an ironing board. A real one, not like the table top one I have used for years. I bought some great furniture for my sewing room, but the counters are too high for the little guy now. So I need a grown-up, stand -on-its-own-two-feet ironing board. And this has become a problem.

I have been eyeing various boards at the mall, but am having trouble reading the German labels. Isn't it enough that I have to understand spoken Chinese languages, now I have to decode German or Dutch or whatever it is too? I mean, making such a purchase is serious business.

First off, I am determined to find a board that reaches higher than my knees. If I have to run a steam-spewing, heavyweight doorstop over my clothes or sewing project to dewrinkle it, I want to do it without ending up like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Come to think of it, maybe thats why all the really old ladies here are so stooped, they are perpetually staring at the feet. Maybe it's from years and years of ironing their kinfolk's duds.

Back to the ironing board decision. For some indecipherable reason, probably clearly explained in another language, the choices here run from "expensive" to "who are they kidding!!" I'm sure I can get a small motorcycle (not that I would!) for the price of some of these inanimate objects. Perhaps it is because wearing well-pressed clothes is important when you smell like the breath of a thousand camels. Helps confuse people as to who the offender is. "Can't be him, his clothes are wrinkle-free!"

Then again, the cost is surely related to the range of sizes, from "I've had slivers in my foot wider than this," to "I think I've seen a CNN report on boat people sailing to America on these." I wonder what unusual things they are ironing over here that require such girth in a board.

But, undoubtedly, the real reason I haven't made my selection and subsequent purchase is the vision of my middle-age, slightly overweight self cruising through the mall with this "thing" tucked under my arm, as if I was a lost surfer looking for the tide. Not the cool sophisticated woman of the world image I am going for.

So, I have come up with a solution. I am going to make my decision, then have my loving husband carry the "thing" home for me. With the appropriate attire on, maybe shorts and slippers, he just might carry off the lost surfer image.

We bought some carpets over the last two days. What an education! I can now recognize the difference between a village carpet and a city one, silk versus wool, persian versus Kilim. But mostly I recognize that the carpet I will like best really belongs in a museum with people staring appreciatively at it. I mean, I couldn't actually walk on a $13,000 carpet!

Tonight, after buying another carpet, we had Mexican food for dinner. Pretty good, actually. But it was a little funny to be sitting in a restaurant, eating tacos, chips and salsa, and realizing that one was in Singapore. I wonder if the Singaporeans feel the same way when they go to Mexico and have Curried Fish Head Soup?

And speaking of Fish Head Soup, the newspaper reported on a man who sold $12 million US through his Do Do Fish Ball company. Really?! Now, this could spark a whole new line of wondering about fish anatomy, but i will leave the obvious questions to your imagination. It's enough that they sell the stuff in every food court!

Oh, no! I will need an ironing board cover too, won't I?

Love to all.


barefoot gardener said...

I actually kind of like the Singapore posts! I would never have the guts to actually go so very far away, so it is fun to hear about what it was like for you.

Glad Almost Grown is coming home...enjoy the holidays!

Penny said...

Please keep the Singapore posts!! And you're right, if you smell like camel's breath, at least look good! I think that's very sound advice!

Celticspirit said...

Yes, please do keep up the Singapore posts. Did you ever find the perfect ironing board?

Lisa said...

Aah, yes, the ironing board. The story will be continued next Sunday!