australia: outlet converters and a dig.
I have the worst luck when it comes to buying outlet converters.
No matter what country I’m in, or how much money I spend on these things, they never work. This is not conducive to my internet junkie/hair obsessive needs. I remember dropping an ungodly amount of money on a fancy looking converter before my first big trip to Australia, and upon plugging in my hair dryer the day after we landed it promptly exploded and smoke came billowing out from the oulet. Devastation ensued.
Faced with the possibility of having a bad hair day for the next four months, I decided to walk over to the Australian version of Circuit City, a gigantuan store named Clive Peeters. It was there that I met an excitable, talkative male sales associate. He was tall and lanky with a toothy grin and the kind of tan that only Australians can naturally have. I remember thinking how much prettier his hair was than mine as it was unbelievably wavy and voluminous. Thus I shall call him Mr. Schuster.
After a lot of explaining and wild hand gestures, the two of us concluded that there were no outlet converters in Clive Peeters. Wonderful. This was when I tried to make a graceful exit away from Mr. Schuster and the wall of flat-screen TVs he was standing in front of, but he wasn’t very “keen” on this idea.
"So you’re American, are ya?" he said.
"Where in America?"
"Boston." EDIT: I’m usually friendlier, but Mr. Schuster was getting closer and closer to me as he spoke and it was starting to make me uncomfortable. Plus I still had frizzy hair, which is as good reason as any to be cranky.
"Ah, Boston, I’ve heard of that. What kind of TV do you got back in Boston?"
Jesus. “A small one.”
"Oh, really? I thought all you Americans had big TVs! You all like that flashy stuff don’t cha?"
I think this is where he was trying to be flirty and cute, but I was not having it. While simultaneously looking around for the nearest escape route, I snarled, “Wow, way to take a dig at me.”
A rare pause. “A what?”
I remember thinking that this would be an opportune moment for someone to kidnap me. “A. DIG. You know, an insult?”
Apparently that was the wrong thing to say. Mr. Schuster’s panties immediately bunched up into a fist-like apparatus, and he practically got down on his knees and prayed for forgiveness.
"OH MISS I AM SO SORRY I NEVER MEANT TO INSULT YOU PLEASE DON’T TAKE IT THAT WAY I’M SURE YOU’RE NOT FLASHY IN THE SLIGHTEST I LOVE SMALL TVS THEY’RE SOME OF OUR BEST-SELLERS TEAM USA" and so on and so forth.
His performance was Oscary-worthy, I will give him that. Definitely in the wrong profession, that Mr. Schuster. As much as I love a good round of public humiliation, between the sobbing and pleading I somehow managed to convince my perfectly coiffed friend that my feelings were still very much unhurt, and I would not hold his “dig” against him the next time that we crossed paths, which would hopefully be somewhere between “never ever ever” and “in the next gazillion years.”
After an entire afternoon of awkward conversation, hair envy, and not getting a proper outlet converter, I finally walked out of Clive Peeters and sulked back to my dark apartment, my straw-like curls baking in the hot Australian sun.