“NETS or WTF or OMG, XYZ, ABC, 123” I stood there looking seriously confused as the nice man in the shop bombarded me with acronyms. All I was trying to do was pay for a couple of items and here I was being expected to learn a whole new language.
“It’s a Visa. HSBC” I countered,
“But NETS?” he parried,
“I don’t know what NETS is, but it’s Visa” I plaintively waved it at the card machine.
“The machine is broken, NETS only” I was sweating my nuts off having walked in the muggy heat and now the man was doing the unthinkable and withholding my Cheetos and Sprite (such adventurous taste buds) He was on dangerous hanger rage territory after I had chickened out of buying anything at the Hawker Centre.
“Cash only, or NETS”
Cue terribly British embarrassment, “Oh err I’m terribly sorry I don’t have any cash on me and I’m still not sure what NETS is. Is there a cash machine near here?” (Oh God, another schlep in the heat)
“Cash… machine?” He looked ever so confused,
“Oh um, hole in the wall?” Nice one Al, if he didn’t know what a cash machine was he sure as shit wasn’t going to know that. His existing blank look deepened.
“Err, (by this stage I’m crimson and sweating profusely from embarrassment) ATM??” He looked relieved as I had finally stumbled across the magic acronym that we both understood.
“Which bank? UOB? OCBC?” yet again with the acronyms. He was obsessed.
“HSBC” I waved the card again,
“No, it won’t take HSBC. UOB, OCBC *insert another stream of yep, acronyms* only”
By this stage a crowd had gathered and were looking at me strangely, the sweaty British woman on the verge of tears because the nice man was withholding her carbs.
“Well, shall I try?” There was desperation starting to appear in my voice but he merely shrugged and pointed outside. Thankfully there was a cash machine, sorry ATM, directly outside the shop so I joined the back of the queue and tried to avoid looking at the nice man grinning at me and the other customers scowling at me out of the window.
Thankfully of course the ATM took the Visa after all it is widely accepted and HSBC is the World’s Local Bank and so I was able to shuffle back into the shop, slide some money across the counter and take my goodies away without bursting into tears. Winner winner no tears before dinner.
I consider myself to be fairly savvy, I’m resourceful and independent and yet I also now appear to cry at random intervals like some kind of Baby Annabel doll. I was welled up and biting the inside of my cheek pretty much the entire time I was in KU-Hell; I welled up when I couldn’t find the Cartoon Network on the telly (seriously, WTF?!); I welled up when the sun went behind the clouds and the pool got a bit chilly; and I welled up when I forgot my passport to get access to the compound where our office is and thought I was going to get shouted at.
I either need to man the fuck up, or invest in shares in Kleenex.