The Chinese Bazaar opposite The Forum Shopping Centre is open all hours. Owned by an oriental family, obviously, who all take turns at the till and all possess the same permanent, enforced half-smile.
I have visited this labyrinth of cheap treasure many a time and always when looking for some unusual item that no one else sells. Or at least I don't know who else sells it. Stuff you can't even find on the net.
If you're after things such as a toe-nail clippings collector, a pomegranate peeler or arm-pit hair dye for instance, this is the place to visit.
I was after a connector for a power adaptor extension (?!?) for my digital recorder and yes, you guessed it right, there it was. Not just the connector I needed but also adaptors for the connector and extensions for the adaptor. Sorry for the jargon, I know I'm getting technical here...or confused...or both!
I was so impressed with the vast array of gadgets in stock that I asked at the till if there was anything they didn't sell.
"Such as?" replied the dad-the-shopkeeper.
"I was wondering if there's anything I could ask that you don´t stock! Whatever I ask for you always say yes, follow me."
"Well, do try me"
"Do you have a cure for a broken heart?
"Are you from Trading Standards?" Came the answering-a-question-with-a-question answer.
"No er...well...I trade my music from venue to venue and I do have standards"
"Close enough" replied daddy-shopkeeper in a serious tone. "We have no cure for you".
"But it´s not for me, it's for a friend of a friend. It´s for Ruben's friend, to be precise"
"No , sorry, can't help you or your friend".
I walked away wondering what would've happened if daddy-shopkeeper hadn't got spooked about Trading Standards. I reckon he would have led me by the arm to some room behind the shop where scantily-clad oriental girls, sat on some red silk sofa, ready and waiting to help mend the broken hearts of surprised clients. But maybe not...
What on earth is happening to me?