I was late to work again. Again, I was slightly ashamed of myself for not having the discipline to wake up in the morning. I went to sleep around 12:30 am and woke up at 9:30 am. That was a whopping 9 hours of sleep. Only babies need that. I’m not a baby anymore, and back in uni I could pull all-nighters all the time and still remain sober for few hours during the day. Am I getting old?
Last week I’d been waking up consistently at 6:40am. Praise me, I know. Since the Sim Lim Scam last Sunday, I haven’t been sleeping well at all. That Sunday evening I couldn’t fall asleep until 6:30am.
What’s up with pumping gas into a leaking balloon even after I refilled the tank on Mon and Tue?
I must confess…it wasn’t the least germane to the Sunday Sim Lim Scam. My old buddy is haunting me again: dream.
Indeed, I dreamed again last night. It was a such a sweet illusion that I didn’t want to leave my dream and return to the less utopian reality. I remember so vividly the scene. A friend of mine that I met on a trip to Tioman few months ago invited me to where he lived, which turned out to offer a breathtaking view that rivaled Halong Bay. I still remember the grandeur of the lake flanked by mountains. Even now I can see the colors right in front of me. I can touch the ripple and hear the breeze ruffling its surface.
I really dream too much at night, so much that it’s affecting my punctuality. I’m not allowed to dream anymore. This weekend I will just refrain from shopping for anything at all, lest I come across another ruthless, unscrupulous salesman in Singapore.
I forbid myself to dream again! I’m not even speaking in figurative terms. When I say dream, I mean physically dreaming, meaning that my whole body and mind are involved in the intensive process that the second I regain my consciousness I feel like drowning into a bottomless well. Yet when I dream, I lose my sense of gravity. Whether it’s a fair dream or a nightmare, once the dream’s over it leaves me paralyzed in bed and incapable of grasping the mortal clock.
Please don’t let me dream again at night. Yet again, it is a rather conflicting wish, for what assures me of embracing the dark and what makes me look forward to it are the myriad possibilities that will color my night.
Nevertheless, I beg for some colorless nights. When my nights are too colorful, my days seem to fade into shades of gray.
Do I ever dream when I travel? Rarely.
There you have a clue.
Sim Lim Scam is Rampant
Sim Lim Scum is Hideous
Make Sure to Do Tedious Research
Or Else Lose All Your Dollars
After I filed the Magistrate’s Complaint at Crime Registry, Subordinate Court of Singapore, I was led to a little chamber to meet the judge.
Glancing through my file, the judge said, as a matter of fact, that it was not the first time he received cases about Sim Lim. “It is very common for this to happen to foreigners and tourists at Sim Lim.”
“You mean they’ve hit other customers, too?” I sought solace in community grievances.
“No, but overcharging is quite common. I don’t even go to Sim Lim myself. I never go there. Places like Mustafa and Burlington are better,” the judge educated me. “To shop at Sim Lim you need to be very intelligent and asking a lot of questions.”
The reason he went on and on about the reputation of Sim Lim was that I didn’t really have any hope in my case – primarily due to not having a witness.
Without a witness, I was only telling a story. The security camera, according to him, was a dummy camera that would erase all the record in 24-48 hours, and it wouldn’t capture very well. Even if it did capture the incident, the Sim Lim scum could defend himself by saying it was completely an accident that the calculator hit my ankle. Without a witness, it’d be a difficult to accuse the other party.
“The security guard saw it. Should I ask the security guard to be my witness?” I asked.
“The problem is that Singaporeans have not reached the stage where they’d go all the way to the court to help a stranger,” explained the judge.
Oh I totally believed him in that.
“What if I ask my parents’ lawyer in the US to help?”
“That wouldn’t work because this happened in Singapore.”
So, it is against the law to throw trash on the sidewalk and chew gums but legal to have citizens steal off of foreigners.
How ironic is it that they know about the Sim Lim practice yet they don’t investigate? Instead of sending undercover cops, they simply close one eye and let it corrode?
A friend suggested me to do investigative journalism and post it to Youtube – that would really embarrass Singapore.
I’ve found quite a few already:
Read also: Sim Lim Episode Follow Up
In a nutshell…please do not go to Sim Lim. I almost got cheated out of $515 today. I cried, called the police, and argued for 3 hours and by 9pm received full refund. Do not go to iGadget on 1st floor. Tomorrow I am going to the subordinate court to sue the iGadget staff who threw a calculator at my ankle.
You would not believe what happened to me. Some days in Singapore feel like emotional torture to me. I just cannot believe what people would do for money.
I’ve had so much emotional stress today that I’ll just keep this short:
1. I went to Sim Lim Square to inquire about unlocking my phone. I told the staff at iGadget that I upgraded my phone so that’s why my sim card bought by my dad wouldn’t work. I asked them if they had an upgraded micro sim for unlocking my iPhone.
2. The two salesmen at iGadget, Edward Lim and Eddy Wong, said yes. Unlock sim is $80 and they would give it to me for $60. I agreed.
3. I asked around other shops while they were unlocking. Other shops were asking for $50-80 as well. So I thought it was the market price.
4. After they unlocked it, I asked if it had been jailbroken. The white T-shirt guy named Eddy Wong said that you can’t jailbreak with a sim card (well Youtube said you can?). Eddy said that jailbreak is trickier because it’s a US phone. I just wanted to get it over with it and said okay, how much is jailbreak. Eddy answered, “$60.” I asked, “How about $100 for unlock and jailbreak. He bit his lips, slanted his head, and agreed. Whoa wasn’t I good at bargaining?
5. Hours later, I came back. Eddy and Edward said my iPhone had been unlocked and jailbroken successfully. According to them, the two Gevey sim cards my dad sent me had been spoiled, and therefore they replaced it with another one. I nodded. They asked me if I wanted to pay by card or cash. I handed them my Mastercard.
6. Minutes later, they swiped the card and told me to sign the receipt. I signed my name on the receipt, then IMMEDIATELY crossed out my signature when I saw the staggering number: $515.
I thought it was a typo. I was like, WHAT? $515? It was supposed to be $100!
The Ed brothers (Eddy and Edward) smiled maliciously and explained to me, “$100 was only software. Your original turbo sim was spoiled. So we had to replace it. So that was another $!#$#. Then the other thing would cost another $@#$#. So everything would be $515.”
I felt as if I had been struck by lightening.