So we were sitting having an after work coffee and cake (Starbucks have a great carrot and almond cake at the moment) in (shock horror probe)Starbucks at the Bawadi Mall (in Al Ain) when I said to she-who-must-be-obeyed, "Okay, I'll buy the watch if you buy the cross-trainer".
SWMBO has been on at me since Doha days to buy a new watch. The last one was bought while I was at Cambridge High School and that's now seven years ago. I haven't bought that many watches in my life and I have very strict guidelines for a watch. Off the top of my head I can only think of owning four watches in 53 years.
In no particular order: it must be classy (yes I know I owned a fluro swatch in the '80s - thanks for reminding me); definitely NOT digital (never owned one, never will); must have a leather strap - can't be doing with those metal jobbies; no other bells and whistles (no clutter from stop watches, no underwater contraptions and the like); it must be easy to tell the time (der - but 99% of watches I find very difficult to see the actual time in); I'm not crazy about Roman numerals in my analogue watch but if I must I must; I like a gold colour but not a white face on the watch.
I'm generally looking for a narrow range of a plain analogue watch with a leather strap. And most of them aren't classy (or if they are are hellishly expensive).
In short I love my old watch!! Mainly because all of the planets came into alignment!
I knew it was going to be a daunting task because there seem to be 5 billion watch outlets in the UAE and, as you now know, I am very picky. The 5 billion watch outlets (by the way - that's a very, very conservative estimate! Lord knows how they all make a living or maybe the 5 billion watch outlets are owned by three guys) come in a continuum that stretches from the '3 watches for 6o dirham' variety to the mega expensice Cartier gold and jem encrusted extravaganzas (and you should see the ladies watches!!).
So...the upshot is - I went looking for an impossible to find watch via the 5 billion watch outlets to satisfy SWMBO's endless proddings. Along for the ride were my self imposed restrictions, my frugal watch buying history, my desire not to exceed around $200 (what my last watch cost), and my delicate little wrists (the local Emiratis love huge gaudy heavy things that suit me not).
I decided to restrict myself to one of the 5 billion watch outlets. The lucky place was the only watch place in Bawadi Mall that carried watch batteries ( I kid you not - the other 4 billion and change watch outlets sell you a watch but will not sell or replace a battery for you). I got a new battery for my old watch when I first got here and I promised the nice gentleman who helped me that I would, one day, buy a watch from him.
Yesterday was the fateful day! SWMBO says I am the customer from hell because I know what I like and I don't like much.
But, cue heavenly choirs and celestial lights shimmering and the world moving at slow motion - I found one!!!
Now I love my new watch. It's similar to my old watch but it has enough difference to mean I wasn't buying just another version of my old watch. I also like its brand name 'Jovial'.
Oh...and yes - SWMBO got her cross-trainer as well.
Okay - dinner's nearly ready apparently, so it's time to go!
Love and peace - Wozza