Friday, October 10, 2008
Advice from a Watch Expert....
I bought a cheap "utility" watch in Pratunam (a low-end outdoor market in Bangkok) last month. I proudly put my cheap bargain on my wrist, took two steps and heard "clink." The glass crystal fell to the sidewalk.
My thoughts: "It's Thailand, and no one ever takes anything back, especially a cheap watch. I'm screwed (again)."
My Thai shopping friend and a couple vendors standing around encouraged me to take the two steps backward and return it to the sales lady. I handed her the watch and crystal separately and waited for her response, which was...(with a straight face)...
"This kind of watch doesn't need a crystal."
She wrapped the crystal in a tissue, put it in a bag, and handed it back to me with the now bare-faced watch. My Thai shopping companion gave me that typical look often given to red-faced foreigners that said "Please, don't create a scene."
So now, I change the time by moving the watch hands with my fingers, just like I did on the big grandfather clock at Grandma's house. I try to keep it out of the rain, and I also cover it with my hand when someone sneezes. A month later, it's still running, and I think I'm now making a fashion statement with it. When people ask about it, I tell them I bought a special watch that offers a "tactile experience," and then I feel the bare face and hands like a blind person trying to tell the time.
I give the Thai sales "expert" one point for quick thinking.
Score: One for her. Zero for me.
UPDATE: August 2009. Unbelievably, the watch is still running. I have stumbled onto a new secret to keep watches running in Thailand: fresh air!