Thursday, February 23, 2012

I told you about the fool on the hill, I tell you man he living there still (The Fabs)

I told you about Brian's watch.
I told you about the heater story.

Now...dum de de dum dum dar (classy drum roll)...the story of the ipod earphones!

But first - this story is brought to you by...communication barriers, cunning put-a-tail-on-it-call-it-a-weasel packaging, salespersons who are perversely but genuinely infected by the overwhelming desire to please the customer (a.k.a. poor smucks) at all costs even when they have no idea what you are talking about, and, of course, there's my own raging impatience. Quite a brew huh?

What do I need?

I once had a badge in the late last century that I often wore to class. It read 'Just a simple guy with a complex life',

In this instance my need was simple really - a set of earphones for the ppod that I can wear while exercising (you know - ones that won't fall out of my ear) that have as good a bass sound as possible. And halas - that's it.

Why now?
I've been using a pair of Skullcandy earphones that I bought in Doha from the Virgin Megastore at Villagio Mall. They do the trick (just). The hook thing around the ear certainly works and they stay on during exercise but the sound could be more bassy.

Sadly they are now needing to be replaced - they fell apart on me last week!

So that means I need them NOW! I really struggle to exercise without music. I need those beats to push me and maintain some pace and I didn't have the time to search beyond Al Ain.
What don't I care about?

Colour, make, aesthetic looks.

So how hard can it be then?

Oh - it be hard... it be very hard!

Okay so the first attempt was at Carrefour. With memories of the heater purchase alive and well I decided to avoid salespeople and suss out the brands on my tod. Helpfully (boy am I a sucker) the packaging listed the bass quality amid some other features. I picked the one with the highest rating. I think the cost was 80 dirham. It was a lurid fluro pink colour. What was I thinking?

The problem with these things is that they are packed in a pretty plastic sealed container so it's impossible to try before you buy.

When I got home I ripped the container apart and found that the earbuds were the type that fit into your ear (rather than on the ear like my Skullcandy ones). That wouldn't have been so bad and the lurid fluro pink I could have lived with but the bass sound was well Alan Ladd. Into the bin it went.

Next stop - an electronics store in Al Ain Mall. The place we bought our cameras recently. This time I thought I'll ask for help. Mistake!

The bloke hovered around me for a bit until I broke and said - okay, yes you can help me. I need some ear phones, bassy ones, that won't fall off if I run. Yes sir he says and goes away. Comes back with three types. One of the types is like proper sporty ear phones so I say (having noticed the packaging is damaged) - can I listen? Yes sir he says (helpfully) and leads me to the MP3 display and hooks up these ear phones. 50 dirhams seems like a bargain (I never learn).

Hmmm - not bad I say, because what was playing did sound okay. I get home, plug in my ppod and...hey - what the...didn't sound like that in the store. Into the bin it goes.

Why is it that things appear fine in a shop but when you get home they seem to transform into tat?

Now I'm starting to sense a pattern. By this time I'm at last weekend and I had committed my time to working on my Key Performance Indicator files for school (go to Baggy Trousers for the low down on these diabolical creatures). Therefore I couldn't go to Dubai Mall to suss out things.

So like a stupid person I figured I'd have one last go.

The salesperson on this last futile attempt was without much comprehension about what I wanted. He kept nodding and saying yes sir but I could quite clearly see the empty space just behind his eyes. I could have said, "Actually I'm really after an African Elephant but I need one with two trunks". He would have said yes sir and scurried off to find one in the storeroom.

Needless to say I gave this up as a bad joke and returned home, barb wired and annoyed that I'd wasted precious hours of my life that will never be returned to me, in a fruitless, pathetic search.

Anyway - here I am - Thursday afternoon - still ear phone less so I'm off to Dubai Mall tomorrow. No doubt I'll have material for another blog post when I come back!

Love and peace - Wozza

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