Last week I bought myself a new white blouse. A girl can never have too many white blouses, am I right? I got it home and took it out of the bag only to realize that it was missing a button. There was no handy extra button sewn into an interior seam. Ugh. I was going to have to attempt to return it. Now, little things like returning a top might not seem like a stress-inducing task back in the States, but the thought of doing it here was a daunting... exhausting.
Yesterday, I finally sucked it up, and headed back to the store.
After having to check in at a little window outside the store, filling out a form for an "exchange," and depositing my carry-bag so I could pick it up later, I was finally allowed into the store. I was directed to the customer service department, by four different helpful shop assistants, where I waited to explain my problem. A trio of young men waited in front of me with an enormous stack of clothing. After some yelling and gesturing, they were gone. I was up.
"I bought this shirt last week and it is missing a button. I need to either exchange it or return it."
"No, madam. Our tailor will fix it."
"Fix it?" I asked dubiously. "I need to make sure that the buttons match. They have to be the SAME button." (I'm sorry, but I can just imagine an unmatched button being attached to my blouse.)
"Yes, madam. The same button." With accompanying head-wobble.
My top was passed over to the "head tailor" who was sitting right next to the customer service desk. I watched as the tailor examined the blouse, and then headed out onto the store floor. He returned a few minutes later with an identical shirt. He sat himself down at his station, pulled out an enormous, ancient looking pair of scissors, and snipped a button off of the second blouse. Then, quick as a flash, he sewed that button onto my top.
Before I knew it, I was outside the store, picking up my old carry bag, and examining my pretty button.
And so today, I'm wearing my lovely new top and the store is trying to sell a button-less blouse. Again.