Wednesday, March 14, 2012

An interesting day out on and about...

The problem with buying some of the Suunto watches is that it is a bloody pain in the arse to get the thing fixed, such as changing the battery.

Apparently Suunto watches comes in the Diving range and the sports range, which are serviced by 2 different set of authorised people. I didnt know that of course until today when I went to Pro Dive shop @ Wanchai (127 Lockhart road) and the very nice lady there told me.

It was driving me mad, having to run to various places looking to get get it fixed. The lady at Pro Dive was very very helpful and offered to check where I can bring it to get it fixed. She got the number and allowed me to use her landline to make the call. Finally when I got through, she took down the address and whipped out her street directory to try to help me locate the new at Kwun Tong.

Her service level despite me not being a customer was amazing. I felt so taken care of and honestly, grateful is understatement. In the midst of all that, the shop had 2 bulldogs strolling around. For some reason, they decided that they like me alot after a quick sniff and hung around me. Being a dog lover, I naturally give them a good pat. The bigger bulldog didnt want to share my affection and bullied the smaller dog away. So I stopped. It's either both or nothing. So the big fellow realised that he wasnt gonna get any more scratchies and lumbered away. The smaller fellow was still next to me and as I started to scratch his top, he decided he liked me enough to plonk himself down and flip over for me to scratch his belly! Talk about not being shy!! I just knew you barely 2mins buddy! Lol! he looked so contented that I hate to stop.

After like 15mins or so, I was finally set to leave. However, being a scuba dive and snorkel shop, I decided to do a quick browse. To my amazement, they were selling rashies for Hk50!!! What a freaking steal!!! I tried a couple and finally bought the Roxy rashie since it was the only one right for me.  The shop had a good range of diving suits, gears and accessories. I didnt realise they had such a good stock here! Would have bought it here instead of Australia if I had known...

So from Wanchai, I headed down to Kwun Tong.
I havent been there since 2006, not since my last job required the shop visit for our brand new cosmetic flagship store then @apm (which is closed now!)

However, the place i was heading to was not APM, it was some factory like building at Lu plaza at Wing Yip street. When I got there, I realised it was the service center for Victorinox. So they serviced Suunto watches here as well.

While waiting, this old HK guy in his 50s or 60s asked to have his watch strap replaced. The whole conversation was in cantonese of course but I will narrate it in English.

"How much is it to change it to a leather strap?" He asked
"Sorry, this model does not come with a leather strap, only the plastic strap" the service lady politely replied.
"No, this HAS a leather strap. I am sure." He said.

The service lady politely asked him to wait as she consult the repair tech at the back. She came back and again politely replied to the customer "I'm sorry but the tech confirmed this model do not come with a leather strap."

Now, one can tell the old guy was annoyed but he didnt have to shout or be unpleasant. However what he said in a long drawn tone that mirrored someone trying to be patient. He goes :"I am telling you this watch comes with a leather strap. I own this watch for years, would I not know my own watch model? If you dont have stock, or you stop carrying the strap, please just say so and I wont argue with you, but PLEASE do NOT try to correct me that this model do not have leather strap when I am telling you it does."

The lady seeing him so adamant, went to check the catalogue. It turned out that the old chap was right! The watch did come with a leather strap, just that HK itself didnt carry the leather strap for the model. The lady apologised politely, and the old guy also didnt persist on or become smug. He merely accepted he was right all along, that needed no further attention to the point made.

What I had wanted to point out here was simple - good attitude on both ends.
The guy could have raised his voice being irate at being right but told he was wrong, or the lady could have just ignored him rather than proactively went to check the catalogue. And when it turned out the customer was right, he didnt try to shame her or make her feel inadequate. If only all transactions could be done this way, without having to test the patience of both parties.

After a good 45mins wait, I could leave with both my watches. As I walked towards APM, I found myself in a completely different environment from Causeway bay. Indeed, people smoked here along the streets at every corner which is very infrequent at Causeway bay where I lived. I dont recall having to evade much smokers or having to hold my breadth much here but obviously over here in Kwun Tong, the more industrial estate, its a different kind of HK scene here. I had to chuckle when I walked past this building under renovation and the workers were blasting the ABBA song "Money money money". Quite funny...

In APM, I headed off for a late lunch at 4pm. Went to Menya Musashi for pork belly ramen. It was quite decent actually. Again, I have to point out the attentive service. You see, I walked in with my scarf round my neck. When I was shown to the counter seat, I was about to take the one nearest to me when the serving staff paused and asked me while offering the other seat closer to him, "Do you want this seat instead because it will be less cold. I see that you have your scarf on, so you may not like that seat so much." I was impressed at his consideration of course and took his offer. I was about to move my heavy backpack from the other chair to the floor after I settled down but he told me I didnt have to since the place wasnt busy. Nice!

While wondering what to eat, I asked him what was the different between the "white" and "black" soup option. He recommended the white and I went along with it. While waiting, he came over to tell me the bowl that the chef was cooking was mine and it will be ready soon. After I finished my meal, he also came over to inquired how was my meal and if the "white" base soup was to my liking afterall. It's all those little touches and consideration that really makes me appreciate the top notch service level here as compared to Singapore. Maybe Singapore should start hiring more HK people in our retail sector rather than mainlanders and whatever non local. Afterall, these HK people seemed better trained...

After lunch, I headed off to Taiko Shing to buy dinner. I havent been to Xiyan for a long while. When I got out of Taikoo station, I realised I didnt have their address. LUCKILY for me, nowadays, selected HK MTR seemed to have free internet stations installed before you exit the gantry. So I went over and googled the address. How perfectly convenient!!! Do Singapore have this free internet kiosk in our MRT station? i dont think so right? See, another reason where public service in HK is ahead of Singapore.

At Taikoo Shing, it's like I am transported to another different part of HK. The place here was rather serene, and quiet and very neighbourly. It kind of reminded me of Singapore estate in the 1980s before all the gigantic facelift and overhaul. It has a sense of close community to it. I really like it here and I actually felt relaxed here in the middle of HK. The birds were chirping. yes. indeed. the birds. I realised too there is a new hotel EAST which I havent noticed before.

I board the train and headed back to Causeway bay. Transported back to the most crowded city on HK isl with tons of human traffic on the road. I guess I traded the tranquility for the convenience and constant changing of shop offerings:) I didnt mind since living here, accessibility is utmost importance to me.

Yet, my little "excursion" today truly reaffirm what I suspected for a while, that different parts of HK  has different set of people, behavior, dressing, culture and lifestyle. Unlike Singapore where people in the North, West and East do not differ much, I see a pretty drastic different between Kwun Tong, Taikoo and Causeway Bay alone, and I;m not even talking about dressing. Interesting. perhaps that is why my fren living in Hon Hum hated living in HK and bitching about it, while I am totally happy and seeing thing differently while living in Causeway bay. Maybe I am surrounded by the affluent HK people living here from expats to local, so the "behavior" is somewhat less Hong Kongish?


WhiteDusk said...

I moved from Tai Kok Tsui to Tung Chung after 4 years in HK. Very different environment altogether. People were more refined in Tung Chung.

In Singapore, compare staying in Geylang with staying a few streets away like Old Airport or Tanjong Katong and you will see a significant difference in the type of people, environment and lifestyle~~

Nomad said...

Haha! yeah "refined" is the word I was searching for:)

Actually I did have a fren who used to live in Geylang, and we used to tease him about living there. However, apart from the seedy night life, generally the people who live there, the local at least are still generally the same to me. Meaning, if I pluck a group of them out of Geylang and say bump into them in Bedok, not much different to me. However, in HK, the working class and the white collar class district are really distinct, incredibly "different" in flavor for me. Hee heee

WhiteDusk said...

Actually when you come back to Singapore, do take a few days to enjoy Siglap and Katong, then another few days in Geylang/Aljunied, then another few days in Yishun, before ending up in Jurong/Lakeside. It's actually more distinct than you think!

Nomad said...

u mean the people or the environment?

WhiteDusk said...

People, environment... even the air feels different to me~ Really!