Domestication, albeit reluctantly, has reminded me of how expensive groceries are these days. Every cent counts, really. But I'm determined to only lose old habits, not interests, with my now frugal financial management system - something that I'd learnt from some multinational corporations. It's doomed to fail but I guess it'll be a good learning curve.
Frugality has led me to shop at discounted gift certificate or coupon websites. Most, if not all, of the products and services offered are of a leisurely nature than necessity. And I’ve been a stalker cum customer for a month now. Hear me being foolishly paradoxical here.
One of the coupons that I'd redeemed was for a few hair treatment sessions. My friends and relatives can attest to my evident hair loss problem and I must say, are more concerned than myself. With a significant, shocking discount, I thought it’s worth a try. Miraculous treatment or not, at the very least, I'll be able to get a diagnosis from the package, I thought.
Session 1 was a psychological war field in the consultation room. I understood the severity of my receding hairline from the scans and their explanation but to inject every consolation and solution with a special, promising treatment and its obvious advantages was too much to bear. These customized treatments are not cheap. I bargained hard, just to know their cheapest offer. Throughout the process, I've been approached by two very persistent consultants. Their marketing skills were good, no doubt. One empathetic-looking consultant said it's a pity if I continue to neglect my oily scalp and start balding at such (flipped and studied my customer profile) a young age. I must admit that I was slightly, just slightly sold at that point. Regained sensibility, I reminded myself that I came to redeem my coupon, got a diagnosis and understood my situation, unconvinced of the procedures and therefore, unwilling to pay the exorbitant amount. That's that. They'd done their best and I tried to be understanding. For courtesy sake, I'd informed them that I can't make a decision at that point as I won't be available for treatment due to my tight travelling schedule. And that I'll return when I can afford the time. They restrategized. Apparently, I can even be treated abroad as well - by purchasing their DIY treatment kits. There were many, many points worth debating there including the effectiveness of DIY kits versus in-house treatments and the content of the kit. But they are running a business and it's only right for them to sell. Unfortunately for them, I wasn’t convinced.
In the 1.5 hours of Session 1, I wondered if appearance should hold such importance in one's life. And if it's worth the cost. I'd only say yes if it's related to one's profession or that it affects one's health condition. Why bother when my family, good friends and (ex) girlfriends have been accepting of my different shapes, sizes and looks throughout the years? No one seems to think less of famous figures like Bruce Willis, Prince William and Vladimir Putin just because they are balding, right? With my head wrapped under the steamer, I felt ashamed. But at least I now know that my scalp's ridiculously oily. So, I should perhaps wash my hair 21 times a week to unclog and prevent more blockages.
Speaking of good friends (I've digressed too far and wide in this post, haven’t I?), we were at Medan Selera 223, another uncharted territory for me, much like the hair treatment center. At night, it’s a busy and crowded al fresco foodcourt that tests one’s vigilance in securing a seat. Reward comes in small packs of nasi lemak with savoury, mildly spicy sambal that’s best smoothened and flavoured with a couple of soft-boiled eggs. And there’s the list of usual beverages like teh tarik and Horlicks to keep the conversations going. Here, affordability means that it’s able to attract people from all walks of life. Regardless of the buckets of dripping sweat (it’s quite hot and humid here), worn out clothes AND receding hairline, everyone’s having a good time. And that’s all that matters, isn’t it?
Medan Selera 223