Well it’s a fortnight since I landed in Singapore and after my initial bumbling attempts at getting into the building, I’ve become quite proficient at tapping myself in and out.
I’ve had some wonderful eating experiences like the informal brunch at the kid friendly Food For Thought, the super relaxed and classy PS Cafe , a typically Singaporean culinary experience at the Axis Lounge & Bar High Tea at the Mandarin Oriental and the yummiest Dimsum at the iconic Din Tai Fung.
Yesterday I visited Serangoon Road which immediately made me feel comfortable and at home. We had gone to the BLS visa centre at to submit some visa documents and stepping into the building was literally like stepping into India. Luckily the work got done but while we were waiting Daughter No 1 had a sugar low so I quickly went down to find some biscuits to munch. A small shop inside sold some home made snacks and potions of curry rice but I thought biscuits were a better option especially since I spotted a grocery store peeping out from the basement. That was quite a shop – three floors of Sahakari Bhandar! Of course nothing else was like the Sahakari Bhandar I am familiar with and I was literally lost with the brands of biscuits available . Finally I managed to find something remotely recognisable (and substantial) so I picked it up and marched on the travelator going down only to realise that the cash register was up! So I had to go down and then go up only to find that I had to go through the store all over again to get to the cashier. Luckily an assistant spotted me and helped me out of my predicament by allowing me to get in from the exit.
It seemed funny to be checking just a packet of biscuits especially after the customer in front of me had two dozen rolls of toilet paper! I was given a token and asked to pay at a self service cash register .
As usual I didn’t have my specs on so when I was asked to verify my token number I blindly pressed YES and inserted the 10 dollar bill. To my horror , the machine asked for 115 more dollars to complete the transaction. That’s when another assistant came up and told me that I had verified the token of a previous transaction and proceeded to clear that up.
She then told me how I had to CHECK the numbers on the screen and match them with my token before punching any buttons . Feeling more than foolish, I pointed to my eyes and signed that I had no spectacles! Ah ! she said in granny commiseration and almost patted my hand in sympathetic understanding.