The nice thing about the Sim Lim electronics supermall in Singapore is that the salespeople don't hassle me. The annoying thing is that the salespeople don't hassle me because I'm a woman; they assume I'm just killing time while my boyfriend/husband shops for a Playstation or whatever. They only try to sell me stuff like foot massagers and pretty little bags for my cellphone.
Grrr. Sexism annoys me even when it benefits me. (I don't know if this is an American thing, but I hate being "helped" the second I walk in; I want to poke around and figure things out on my own.)
I was hoping to buy a new broadcast-quality digital audio recorder, but they didn't have any. I wasn't surprised. With internet shopping, and the boom in all kinds of digital stuff, it's harder and harder to find actual stores that sell serious audio recording gear. Even the stores labeled "audio" were hawking ... video.
No big deal. I ordered one online. But it's always a little scary buying a deck without touching it first. It's going to be your closest non-human collaborator. You want to heft it in your hand and ask, How heavy are you going to feel after two hours of interviewing rice farmers under the blazing sun? Are your buttons and jogwheels friendly or confusing? Will you smash into a million pieces if I drop you at a press conference?
In the end you can't really predict these things. The questions linger in my mind, though, and maybe that's why I've managed to drop every deck I've ever owned at one time or another: I just need to know!