Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Swotting in Style and Comfort

"Boss, I swear! By tomorrow afternoon, I'll send the chair to your house, Boss!"

Cane Furniture Guy, the week before last.

The Manipal Cane Furniture Industries.

When you're in India, disbelief is probably the wisest stance you can take. Treat every honeyed promise the local merchants tell you as a lie and treat every price they quote as twice as much as you think he/she deserves to be paid. When I first landed here in Manipal, when I was about to pay what seemed to be a paltry sum for a lousy laundry basket; a battleship of a senior appeared out of no where, told me to hold on to my cash first, and proceeded to bargain in my favour vehemently. So finally, after much shaking heads, pointing, gesticulating, and ballroom dancing1, Battleship Senior managed to knock the price down to two-thirds of what it originally was.

"Never pay the full price in India," was the mantra she imparted to me before she disappeared with a swish of her cape back into the shadows; The Bargain Avenger, lying in wait all prepared to defend hapless shoppers like me.

I did a quick mental count of the total amount I saved and it added up to a whopping RM 0.80 *gasps*.

I am grateful that someone would go out of her way to help (though I can't remember her face anymore2) but I frankly can't be bothered to help myself in the same way. I'd gladly give up RM 0.80 any day just to avoid having arguments in dingy, dusty Indian shops with people that needs a Hindi-English dictionary in their hands to even say 'Me no speaka da Inglis veli good' to me.

Besides, my Dad is the bargain negotiator in the family. I'm sure he's saving enough for all of us3.

The chair.

Okay, before I get more off-topic that I already am, I like to announce that the cane study chair I ordered had finally arrived - after nearly two weeks since the day I paid the deposit, surviving disasters such as the untimely mortal illness of the Cane Furniture Guy's brother, a misbehaving delivery motorcycle that pretended to break down and non-existent traffic jams.

The price quoted was 1100 rupees and after several lame attempts to score a discount, I decided to fuck it and pay them the damn money after all - merchants have always known at first sight that I'm a soft touch. One day, I must really look closely into my mirror and see if there's 'Easy' tattooed on my forehead4.

But I'll tell you this; it's worth it. That cane study chair is the most comfortable thing I've ever sat in.

How posh.

Besides, it looks terribly cool on my balcony. Now I can sit there in the afternoons with a great novel in my hand, soaking up the Indian sun and getting skin cancer while being comfortably rested.

Of course, you might have noticed the funny arm-rests that looked both fugly, awkward, and do not at all contribute to the fixture's aesthetic value. They are what put the word 'study' in 'cane study chair'.

What I bought it for. Must... remember... this.

With a large soft-wood clipboard, it automatically get transformed into a tool of academia and learning. The tilt angle was calibrated just right so you can rest your back and neck in its natural position while still being able to read your notes/textbooks/leaked exam question papers perfectly.

Now that my chair had arrived, I vow to tackle the second year of medical school with rock-hard determination and drive. I will ace the exams! I will study in that chair every single minute I can find. I will...

Oh bollocks and poppycock! We all know that I'll end up doing this most of the time anyway;


Proud owner of a cane study chair,
k0k s3n w4i

1 For all the attention I paid, they could be having an arm-wrestling showdown and I won't even realise it.
2 I have a terrible head for faces. After a whole year of stewing together in the same lecture hall, I can still walk past some of my batch-mates on the streets without recognizing them.
3 There was once in China, he knocked down a RMB 25 souvenir to just RMB 3. The man's an artist, I tell you.
4 I actually thought of telling him that if he did not send the chair on the promised date (again), I would not pay him in full. But I was, as always, too kind in matters of this nature.


fuolornis said...

the armrest looks kinda menacing. As though its fitted with blowpipes that can fire poison arrows

Innocent^^Guy said...

The arm rest looks kinda dangerous. Especially when you have guys around with my height... -.-"

niCk said...

yeah! the armrest is seriously weird! same as mine.
and why yours got cushion one?!!

Wan Yean said...

u gotta dye ur hair yellow, put on a du lan face as if ur girl friend had mistakenly frenched ur dad thinking that it was u, and dress up like a chao ah beng complete with those skull t shirts and torn jeans.

itu macam, boss, itu tambi hantar lu punya krusi baru kasi takut sama lu. bila pigi shopping kalao, boleh la bikin macam lu punya bapak skill potong harga.

k0k s3n w4i said...

Now that's an idea...

Can't even hit my 'bother'-la and i'm shorter than you.

So I can sleep in it, of course. Haha, actually that came with the chair. Maybe your senior that gave u the chair took and use as pillow or something.

@Wan Yean
Tiu... I wear jeans and t-shirt in class also cannot la. if dye my hair also then confirm kena expel fr med school mia.

Jen said...

you!! after i've ranted about having an aching back, out comes a post shouting out to the world how disgustingly comfy your uber cool chair is! evilness! >_<

Rabbit said...

how much is 1100 rupees eh? I wanna have that chair too!!

innshan said...

i want one too!
can i? can i?

michellesy the incompetent deal-maker said...

LOL - those armrests, they look lethal!

Did you pluck the design out of thin air?
Or was it something that the shopkeeper had dreamed up especially to facilitate the studying, er, sleeping process of hard-working med students such as yourself? =D

ps: I'm still laughing at Wan Yean's comment.

pps: I'm a sucker too - I have never ever been capable of bargaining. Not even at places where you're supposed to bargain. Like bootleg DVD stalls.
I am always afraid the Ah Bengs running the stall will leap across those trestle tables and assault me if I try and drive down their prices wtf XD

k0k s3n w4i said...

*dancing and singing "jen got noooo chair.... jen got nooooo chair!!!"*

about rm90, genuine hand-crafted affair. prob is, I myself dunno hw to bring it back to malaysia later. guess have to sell to somebody.

You have my permission to own one. Go forth and buy. -_-"

nah.. bet some guy who loved his comfort while swotting thought it up decades ago. now the design is indigenous to Manipal. I sat once in it and fell straight in love.