One of the fun parts of living abroad is trying to think a few steps ahead of what I’m used to. In a little while I’m headed out to buy a suit that will serve three purposes:
1. 60s night at our company’s 50th anniversary party. A thin tie and a vest will make it 60s enough for me.
2. Black tie night for second 50th anniversary party. Switch to golden bow-tie should do the trick. (I will change to a different white shirt since the nights are back to back.)
3. Any upcoming weddings, funerals or fancy dinners with the monarchy
To get to the suit store, I can either walk or take a taxi. I considered walking for about a half hour too long, so now there’s no shady side of the street and I don’t want sunburn. I wish the street angles were in my favor for this part of the day, but since they’re not, it looks like I’ll be cabbing it.
Cancel that. I just checked what my cash situation is and I don’t have exact change or close to it (refer to older blog posts). I could walk to a store and buy something that is in the right price range to give me a variety of small change, but I risk a sunburn getting to the nearest store, although it’s likely to be minor if I walk fast enough. I suppose I could just buy sunscreen at the store, but with my luck it would be more than what I have in cash and I’d have to walk to a cash machine which would be close to total the distance to the suit store and bring me back to a more painful sunburn.
I now have an hour and 18 minutes to get this done before the next prayer time if I want to get it done without waiting an extra hour to pay.
Screw it. I’ll walk there and hit the cash machine on the way in case they don’t take cards. I’ll think about how much to take out on the way.
I hope there are some English speaking Indians or Filipinos to help me get the right suit in the right size.
To be continued…
…Mission accomplished – albeit an anti-climactic mission.
With only slightly less than an hour left before prayer time after showering, I figured I was going to get stuck at the suit store anyway, so I decided to go the opposite way from the store that was recommended to me and take a chance of finding something affordable a bit closer. I passed the “Plus for Men” store and a place called “Elegant Man”. Although I was tempted to go into the store that seemed to be named with me in mind (“Elegant Man”, wise-asses), I followed my gut instead and happened upon a store emblazoned with 50-70% off signs along with some suits in the window.
No English speakers in there, but who needs English when miming has proven to work so well. Hats off to the easy-going guys in the shop who acted as if they’ve never had a customer who actually spoke to them. Miming, “These are too tight” or “Both of my legs ARE the same length” is actually a good time – despite close to $400 being on the line.
I never did discover what was 50-70% off, but I got two suits for the equivalent of $387 and didn’t get a sunburn in the process. (No 60s suit looked tux-y enough and no tux-y suit looked 60s enough. Both are ok for dinner with the King.)
Simply walking into Macy’s and walking out with a suit isn’t memorable. This is.
Trying to think a few steps ahead becomes a way of life and it’s an adventure just to do daily tasks while living abroad. That, to me, is fun – and I got it all done before prayer time!