It seems that every time it rains, I get myself a new umbrella. Rainy days are apparently premium shopping days and, if you live in Vancouver, Canada, that amounts to 5 or 6 days a week between the beginning of October and the end of April. Today was just such a day and so, as is routine on such occasions, we drove downtown and parked in the underground lot of the Pacific Mall. Somewhere between women’s shoes and designer handbags, Fondy and I went our separate ways. Alas, about thirty minutes into my shopping I realized – as I always do – that all the shops I really want to hit are outside the mall: Chapters, HMV, that comic book shop. And so, I swung by Sears to pick up an umbrella. The helpful lady at the till informed me that men’s umbrellas could be found downstairs but that if I preferred not to head all the way back down (a.k.a. lazy), I could just grab something from the selection of women’s umbrellas just a few feet over. I ended up picking out a tiny, black springloaded umbrella that didn’t look particularly feminine. Out of deference for any nearby shoppers of a superstitious nature, I hadn’t even bothered to open the umbrella and give it a once-over before buying it. For all I knew I could have stepped outside and opened it up to reveal a beautiful yellow rose surrounded by a garland of purple lilacs. As it turned out, however, it was just plain old black and I suspect that only a true expert in the field would have done a double-take in passing and thought “Hey, that guy’s carrying a woman’s umbrella!”. In short, it did the job and I packed it away in the back of my car, where it will undoubtedly sit until I’ll need it again or, more than likely, it’s is cleared out with the rest of the junk because, possessing the equivalent of a goldfish’s memory capacity, I’ll completely forget why I needed it in the first place. As a result, I’ve got quite a collection of indistinct, black, not particularly feminine (to my eye) umbrellas.
Since we were downtown, we had dinner at the unusually-named Singaporean Restaurant: Prima Taste. We had what was quite possibly the spiciest mango salad we’ve ever eaten, an excellent Hainanese chicken with incredible house rice, tender and tasty chicken skewers with a sweet, rib-sticking peanut satay, and some cracked black-pepper crab. Delicious but messy as hell. Once the meal was done, I’m sure I looked like a guy who had unsuccessfully attempted to defuse a black-pepper crab bomb. The waitress brought a dipping bowl for our hands and two tablets. I was so fixated on the crab that I didn’t really hear her instructions but I thought she said something about swallowing the tablet and chasing it with water to help clean your mouth. Thankfully, Fondy checked with the waitress one more time. What she in fact said was to drop the tablet IN water which would cause it to expand into a towelette (pictured). Thankfully, Fondy got the correct instructions because after all that crab, that expanding towelette would have probably put me over the top. Still, there’s always room for dessert and we grabbed some Nutella crepes on the way home.
Alas, I’ll field questions tomorrow. It’s ten minutes to Amazing Race, the CBS NCAA selection show I recorded, and Nip/Tuck. Fear not. I’ll be back tomorrow to answer almost none of your questions.