Monday, April 25, 2005

Singapore Swing Part V

There was a strange little shopping mall near my hotel. By "strange" I mean it was not at all like the shopping malls to which I am accustomed in the United States. Here we are used to wide open spaces, fountains, marble floors, and brass sculptures. This mall was dark with tiny shops with goods stacked floor to ceiling.

The shopkeepers are an invariably friendly lot, and not pushy. If you describe what you are looking for, a shopkeeper will instantly produce several options that will meet your needs—as if by sleight of hand. They are proud of what they have and want to sell it to you. And given the positive exchange rate to the US dollar, I was more than happy to pay their prices.

I purchased a Phillips portable CD player (not the boom box type) for the equivalent of $150.00 US dollars. That was in January 1997, before the prices for such things tumbled here in the US. Of course, iPod players did not yet exist. So if you wanted to listen to your CDs on the go, you either lugged a boom box or bought such a portable CD player .

The CD player came with a home power adapter, car power adapter, earbud headphones, and two battery powered bookshelf speakers. I could not touch that in the US at that time for less than $230.00. The only disadvantage was that the home power adapter had Singapore-style round prongs on it. However, I have an international power conversion kit, so I can still use the power adapter here in the US.

Click Here and scroll down about one-third of the way down to see a picture that looks identical to the supplied adapter.

But the photo is not about buying consumer products. While walking to the mall entrance underneath the overhang, I happened upon a group of four boys that appeared to be in a rock band. I paused before them and asked to take their picture. With a shrug and a quick glance at each other, they assumed a pose.

But there are two dramas being played out here.

The two boys on the right are the bass player (I think that black case held a bass) and the acoustic guitar player. The John Lennon shirt, the cross, and the long hair on the bass player said to me he was dedicated to his music. The acoustic guitar player with the beret cap and striped shirt was also into the whole thing. The rock star “attitude” those two boys assumed amuses me to no end.

Yet look at the other two boys. Something else entirely is happening there. The boy in the blue shirt flung his left hand up in front of his face at the very last split second before I took the photo. The boy in the white shirt laughed at him, and the photo catches him at that slice of time just before.

So why this dichotomy? Why did the blue-shirted boy cover his face? I can only speculate, but I have a pretty good idea. For his protection I will keep it to myself.

Of course, the blue-shirt boy did not have to be in the photo, and I would not have put up any argument if he declined to be in it. He posed at first, then changed his mind and suddenly covered his face.

Two boys acting cool, one acting paranoid, and one amused. It's a nice little drama, even if it is only a snap of four boys walking down a mall sidewalk.

Next in the Series: Part VI

Photos Copyright 2005 by Impacted Wisdom Truth

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