Thursday, July 23, 2009

IT Jungle

@Sim Lim Square

"Sim Lim" means "jungle" in Hokkien--one of the main Chinese dialects among the last generation in Singapore. I never realize how appropriate this name is to this building which is dedicated solely to IT-related retails shops, for instance, mobile phones, computers and peripherals, video cameras, MP3 and MP4, cables......This is the IT jungle for us.

This is a 5 or 6 storeyed building which I used to hate to visit unless it was absolutely necessary. Each level is dedicated to a specific type of electronics. The large number of shops made my head spin and the worst thing is having to bargain. Well, there is always the paradox of time and money, isn't it? If you have the money, you can afford to value your time; if you haven't got the money to spend, you gotta spend your time. I don't have spare cash and therefore have to waste my time doing "homework" and learn to bargain shamelessly.

PX and I used to do our "homework" industriously when we were in need of electronics, mainly laptops and printers before we tread cautiously into this IT jungle. We have to work separately, checking paintstakingly on each shop, recording meticulously the price of the models that we had in mind as the prices for the same products vary from shop to shop and from level to level. We would then compare our findings for the cheapest offer and then proceed to the shops to get the items and of course, without forgetting to bargin for as much discounts as possible or to get free gifts. It was a tiring ordeal.

Having to live with PC World and Curry (British "IT" malls) and the very, very limited range of items to offer, I can now put up with this once notorious IT mall of ours. (There used to be reported incidents of violent bargaining...but I don't hear of such now) I enjoy being delightfully pampered by the large selection of items that cater to every kind of budget and preference.

Take my mouse for instance, I bought it for SGD$14-17, a Chinese brand that I have not heard of but it is cute-looking and there was a choice of colours--a big difference to the traditional, staunch-looking Logitech or Microsoft brand and the most important thing is that it is cheap and functionable. I am not a big fan of Chinese products to be honest, but you can hardly find any thing that is not produced in China nowadays and I'd rather pay for a Chinese brand and Chinese made product than INTERNATIONAL brands but Chinese-made and then at INTERNATIONAL price. This cheap-looking mouse is still alive and kicking after two years of usage while my last mouse--a branded one some more, breathed its last breath of life after one year.

C, a all-time big fan of any IT gadgets love this place at first sight although his love waned a little after realizing the ordeal of checking out prices from shop to shop. But if you want to stretch every dollar, you have to pay a price for it. He bought a SGD$14 universal adapter and then to find cheaper deals at SGD$8-9 for the same functions (not the same brand though). Finally, he found his dream speakers after having checked a number of IT shops at various shopping malls before he settled for one at Sim Lim Square for SGD$40 and surprisingly powerful sound for a USB powered device. And sleek-looking, I must say.