It had rained for something like two weeks straight. You see I had two days to go until I had to attend this uppity event, and I had yet to buy my shirt, my belt, and my socks. On the first day without rain, I decided to put a big wad of cash in my pocket and hit the deparrment store to find what I needed. Not only was it sunny outside, it was steaming hot. I had on my lightest pair of pants, a T-shirt, and my short sleeve white button down, and a pair of flip flops. I was a bit under dressed for a shopping spree, but who cared? It was hot hot, and I had that big pocket full of cash for my support. The midday sun was blarring down on my newly shaved head, and I started to sweat profusely. Drips were flowing off of my finger tips, cascading down my eyebrows. It might have well been raining, so I made my way into the Starbucks for a water and for a few napkins. Who cared what I looked like? I was a paying customer—twenty kuai for the water to be exact—so I deserved those few napkins. As I left the coffee giant, I realised that the few napkins I got wouldn’t be enough. You see, I can get used to that kind of heat after a while, and I usually bear it through the summertime without too much trouble, but this was such a turn in the weather that I simply didn’t have the time to adjust. I finally got into a taxi, but of course the air-con exhaust vent was broken., so I asked the guy if it would be alright if I stuffed my wet tissues into it so that it would point up. Of course, it would be okay. Unfortunately the taxi ride wasn’t long enough to cool me down, and before I knew it, I was under the sun once more, but one quick hop across the street, and I was in the foyer of the big depatment store trying to let the sweat evaporate. When I was a bit more presentable, I made my way for the first shop where the shopkeeper was impeccably dressed, but again who cared? I had a thick stack of cash on me. So I walked around trying to avoid the mirrors, and I found exactly what I had been looking for. I patted my pocket to make sure that the bills were still there and asked the guy how much the Zegna shirt was. 7,000RMB! I slunk my head down and headed for the door. Had I been so out of touch with reality that I didn’t know how much a good shirt costs anymore? But no, I wouldn’t be defeated that easily, so I made my way to a lesser known brand, only to find that a similar white shirt cost 7,580RMB. I swept the floor with my eyebrows on the way out of the department store. I still had one more day to go. Little could I have known that it would pour cats and elephants the next day, that the roads would turn into rivers. Oh well. I guessed that the event I was supposed to go to would have to wait until next year.
By Tim Hoerle