First shop, advertising itself as a “diamond and watch specialist”:
Me: “Can you stick a new battery in this watch (an ordinary Seiko) and replace the seal?”
Assistant: “No, we’d have to send it away for 6-8 weeks. We don’t have the special tools here.”
The last time I changed the battery was in Dubai, where a bloke in a kiosk did it in 15 minutes.
Second shop, two minutes later, specialising in video games:
Me: “Where are the PC games?”
Assistant: “Oh, we don’t do those any more, but if you go to our other branch in…”
Me: “Nah, I’ll download it instead.”
A nation of shopkeepers, indeed.
Watch battery changed in Phuket in 5 minutes for $6, including leak test. Computer game purchased in Phuket for $15.