elb's hovel of thoughts

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Free Rolex, anyone?

Earlier this morning, I went to pick my siblings from their computer class at Taipan USJ. My car was parked on the side of the main road on the part when cars are supposed to inch their way through to the road after exiting at a turning.

Suddenly this Malay chap appeared from out of nowhere and knocked on the front passenger window. My attention focused on him, he was gesturing with his right hand to an object wrapped in a green handkerchief that he was holding in his left hand and trying to say something. I apprehensively opened the window a little to hear what he was trying to say.

"Rolex, dik! Rolex!" (Rolex, boy! Rolex!)
*cue blur look*
*low and desperate voice* "Ini mahal punya!!" (This is expensive!!)
*impassive look*
"Beli lah!!!" (Buy from me!!)
"Kasi tengok kejap" (Let me see for a minute)

At this point he slipped in the watch. I was careful to handle it only along the handkerchief, should the article be the real McCoy and was stolen. I looked at it. It was heavy, always a good sign when trying to determine genuine watches. Stainless steel, with some gold on the bezel and a simple white dial face and some gold along the stainless steel bracelet. In-built magnifier above the date, which suggested that the watch belonged to a 40-something year old businessman who had difficulties looking at the otherwise small date. I estimate the watch to worth at least RM12 000 brand new. Further solidifying my belief that it was real (albeit stolen) was his overtly suspicious behaviour; the desperation to get rid of the watch as his eyes darted all over the place should the police suddenly arrest him, the desire to be able to disappear as quickly as possible after getting rid of the watch.

With the watch in my hands, I was so tempted to drive off with the watch there and then. Why not? I was in a car that was running, traffic was light, and most importantly, I had the watch (which I believe to be genuine especially looking at the character's suspicious behaviour) in the car with me and the window was only open by a couple of inches. What an opportunity! But something held me back; probably the knowing that I was doing was wrong and I could get into all sorts of trouble if I were to bring the watch in for repairs. I wanted to take a picture of him and inform the police. But fear of the police, who are known to treat informers as suspects, made me think otherwise. Fear of getting detained and getting all sorts of nonsense from the uniformed men. Fear that the guy would track me down and 'get rid of me'.

I returned the watch back to him (still being careful to not touch the watch itself) and he was gesturing at me, pleading to me to buy from him (which I wouldn't have anyway). At that point, I had noticed my brothers coming and I told him to buzz off (pergi lah!), and he gave a disappointed and desperate look, clenched back the watch and moved away, looking around wildly for someone who was more willing (and less straight) than me. Anyway, I personally think that the watch is ugly; mine is so so much better. I wouldn't have paid a couple of thousand for that gaudy piece that looks better on my uncle then my young youthful wrist, eventhough it might be a Rolex. Watches like Rolex and Patek Phillipe are for uncles, for crying out loud! Tag Heuer and Oris are the way to go!

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