April 3rd, 2005

Pink fairy

Happy early birthday to me!

Saturday, April 2, 2005

My birthday is on April 5th, but I got my opportunity to get my present on Saturday afternoon.

We were still at the playground when Erik called Chris. They were supposed to come over around 2:30pm to hang out with us at our apartment. Erik and Kai-wen were doing errands that morning, so they were going to come over after doing those. But when he called, he said that they were still wanting to do more, and one of them was going over to TechnoMart to look at bedroom furniture for their 3 year old son, Kyle. They wanted to know if we wanted to come. When Chris asked me, I said, "Heck yes!!" TechnoMart is this huge 10 story shopping mall with everything you could want. It is mainly know for its floors and floors of electronics and computers and MP3 players - just about every computer electronic gadget you could ever think of!! Actually the first 2 floors are for clothes and shoes and bags and stuff like that. Then there are 5 floors of consumer electronics, like the cameras, video cameras, MP3 players, fridges, AC units, and such. Then there are 3 floors of all computer stuff. We didn't even get to those floors. And I guess they also have a section for furniture since that's what Erik's family went there for.

I've been wanting to go there for a while to take a look at all the digital cameras. I am always looking for a new digital camera, even if I don't need one. But I use mine all the time, so it isn't a purchase that would be wasted. Also, the one I have is 3 years old, a lifetime in digital camera technology. LOL And it was a 2.1 megapixel, not bad, but not great compared to the cameras out there now. So, I started to look around - man, I didn't know where to start! Seriously, it was overwhelming because the whole floor was of different vendors all basically selling the same thing - miles of digital cameras, camcorders and MP3 players. I guess the key to shopping there is knowing what you want, and bargaining for it because they know you can just go to the next guy and see what deal you can get there.

Well, I didn't really know what I wanted, just a new camera. I've always thought of getting a digital SLR, like the Canon Rebel digital.
Canon Digital Rebel

But, I'm mainly using my camera to follow the kids around and handling a big SLR with all the various lenses, while that sounds really intriguing to me (I like to consider myself a photography buff, one day I'd love to have my own darkroom since I do know how to develop pictures), having such a big camera wouldn't be good at this time. Plus, those cameras are expensive. Small, compact and light is better with the two kids. But I didn't want to sacrifice quality.

Oops, I gotta go, I'll finish this entry as soon as I get the kids out of the bathtub...
Pink fairy

Happy early birthday to me! (continued)

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Ok, I'm back for a few more minutes. One kid is out of the bath and the other is still wanting to splash around, so I'm letting her. I can monitor her from the computer, so she'll be ok in there for a few more minutes!

Anyway, so I went up to the first vendor and started to look at the displays. A salesman pounced on me, of course. He spoke pretty good English, broken, but I could understand him and he could understand me, so that worked well. I started to look at the cameras, looking at the most compact ones first. They were mainly point and shoot and not better than what I already had, so I worked my way up. I saw the Nikon Coolpix line. I know people who have them, they've always gotten good reviews. First I looked at the 4600, then the 5600 and the 5900. I didn't know this at the time, but they are all relatively new releases. The differences were pixels - the 4600 was a 4.0 mp, the 5600 and the 5900 were 5mp. I decided that if I was going to get a new one anyway, might as well go for the 5mp cameras. So then the differences between the 5600 and the 5900 was the quality of the lens, the amount of features and the size of the LCD screen. Of course, the 5900 was better in all of these. So, I asked how much for each. The 5600 was $250 and the 5900 was $320. I didn't know this at the time either, but both prices was below US MSRP.

So then I needed things like an extra battery, a large SD card (since the cameras used a memory card that was different from what I already had), a battery charger. That added about $130 to the total. Ok, that was a little much than what I was hoping. So I started to "hem and haw" about buying it. About 5 minutes of that, the guy dropped the total by $10. Still "hemming and hawing"; 5 more minutes and another $10 fell off the price, which was now at $430. And he threw in a hard cover case for the camera too! (I've since looked that up, its about $20 for that case.) LOL I was still not ready to buy, not necessarily because of the price, but because I am a second-guesser when it comes to buying something like this. I felt like I hadn't done enough research (usually I spend days online researching and searching for a good deal). I finally decided to try to bargain more and punched on the calculator $420. The salesguy looked at me with incredulous eyes and said "That price?" I said, "Yeah" and then he took the calculator, did some calculating of his own (presumably to see if that price would set him below his required profit margin) and then came back and said with a sigh, "Ok". I knew from that little scene that I couldn't get him to go lower than that. So, I bought it!

Nikon Coolpix 5900

Chris started to get out the money (he had withdrawn some money in anticipation of this) to pay. He counted out the money and while he was doing that, the salesman went to the back of his "store" and brought out a shoulder camera bag and put it on the counter with all my stuff. He said, "service" (which means free here). LOL Maybe I could have gone lower! But even so, that was a good deal for all that I got. YAY!

Happy Birthday to me!
Pink fairy

Sunday, April 3, 2005

Didn't do much today, much to my chagrin. Once again, some work crisis called on Chris and this time he had to actually go into the office. *sigh* Seems that a cleaning lady at the office felt that she needed to turn off the power to mop the floors, and didn't bother to turn the power back on! So he had to go and see why the servers weren't working. BAH! He took Maya with him so I was able to get some things done around here.

We lounged around after he and Maya got back. That afternoon, Erik and Kai-wen (and Kyle and Kai-wen's mother) came over to hang out and play some board games, since we didn't get a chance to do that yesterday. We played while the kids watched tv and played (and fought and etc). After a game, I wanted to go out - I am tired of being at home and I can do that during the week! But Erik and Chris were tired and didn't feel like going out - they had a rough week at work and just want a break. BAH again! What about me? I'm the one in a foreign country, without any good friends and without any real working knowledge of the language. Plus, I'm the one taking care of two kids in this situation. I was getting pretty upset but didn't really want to ruin the day, so I agreed to play more. Actually, everyone knew how upset I was (I could never keep my feelings hidden). Erik suggested at one point that he and Chris take Kyle with them to the sauna. I snapped at Chris, "If you're going to the sauna without me, you'd might as well be at work!" I know, he didn't suggest it and he wouldn't have done it because he wants to spend the time with us too, but I couldn't help it. (Later Chris asked me not to get mad at him for what Erik says - I know, I know).

We played more, then went out to a Chinese restaurant down the street from us. It was pretty good, actually! And the prices were reasonable, even though the place looked all foofy (is that how you spell that?). Had some good food, and started to walk back. Erik, Kai-wen and family (with Maya) walked on ahead, while Nadia, Chris and I got accosted by some teenage girls. Actually, Nadia got accosted, Chris and I were just along for the ride!

Mobbed (again) by some teenage girls!

They held us up for about 20 minutes! They were very sweet though, trying to speak in English with us. The one who is holding Nadia in the picture gave me her email address so I could email the picture to her. Her name is Hwang Young Shim.

That night, I had another fit of crying about my situation. I felt like no one really understood what I was going through, but I know that's not true. Talk about mood swings...I want them to stop just as much as Chris does. I don't want to burden him with my discontent, and I try so hard to hide it, but I just can't. I know I've got to support him in this venture, but at the same time I have this voice in the back of my head saying, it a very whiny voice, "What about me??"