Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Of Jimmy Choo and All Things Profound

Warning – Some people may find this post shallow. Recommended for those in the mood for some mindless-profundity.

Where Am I?

  • If thy heart desires a Jimmy-Choo, thou shalt have it. Fake though it be.
  • If thy body aches and thy muscles twist, thou shalt be relieved. Massage is the cure for all.
  • If patting a tiger has been on the list of “top-10-things-to-do-before-I-die”, thou shalt be allowed a pat. And a picture with the cat.

If you have answered “Thailand/Bangkok” to the question above, now is the time to jiggle your backside in a “I-know-it-all” happy dance (the one you saved for your game-show win).

So Thailand was where I was in the second week of the new year. My 5-year wedding anniversary gift from A.

While I loved the shopping and the food and the massage and the tiger-patting, these were not my main take-aways from the trip.

The first thing my colleagues told me when they found out that I was going to Bangkok was “You will come back with your first fake Jimmy-Choo”. I did not quite comprehend what that meant, except that all of them had fakes of the biggest brands, courtesy their Thailand trips. Once in Bangkok, I was hit by a tsunami of fakes. You name it…they’ve got it. To my amazement, I wasn’t overjoyed. I was appalled. (Clearing throat and raising head to bring out the philosophical look.)

I believe we must all have wish lists of things we desire. In the petty materialistic world, these things can range from TAG-Heurs to Tiffanys to BMWs. If someone brought down the price of any of these so that everyone could afford them, would they still be our magical objects of desire? We yearn for them…work hard for them…save for them (ahem!)…so that one day (if we are fortunate enough), we can afford to have one, and rejoice at the accomplishment. It’s the journey to that illusive thing…the years of sighing in front of shop windows…the years of envying the lucky few who actually have them, that make the whole experience remarkable. If I could buy a BMW from a weekend visit to the grocers, I would value it as much as a bag of raw potatoes!

In Thailand, you can have a Jimmy-Choo at the cost of a bag of potatoes. It’s a good thing that everyone can have what they desire…some may argue. But at what cost (pun intended)? It’s a lie. Every time you walk out with the fake…you’re either making someone else envious with something that’s not even worth it. Or, being a joke to those who can tell the difference between real and fake (must admit, I usually can’t).

The shopping centres in Bangkok were gorgeous, don’t get me wrong. But I had to spend double the time looking for decent bags that did not sport some sort of fake branding. I remember asking a lady at the shop counter “Do you have anything without a brand logo on it?” And she looked at me as if I had requested to have her fingers for breakfast.

Now, I haven’t always been like this. Of course I have bought fake Gucci bags from New Market as a teenager. And I loved them to bits. But I am a teenager no more (said with a heavy heart). And it’s not like I don’t use anything non-branded. I have plenty of cheap bags and shoes to last generations (except that cheap things don’t usually last that long). But I have changed so much since I wrote this. I I hereby promise to never buy something that sports a fake logo.

And if this isn't the most mindlessly-profound post you've read, you surely need help with your reading list.