In a less-than-coordinated moment at home, Shanghaiist accidentally stepped on a pair of iPod headphones (sorry — “ear buds”), mashing them beyond repair.
Since we’re unable to stand more than one hour in this city without filling our Eustachian tubes with loud music to block out the noise, we immediately made our way into the electronics market on the corner of Huaihai Zhong Lu and Huangpi Bei Lu and bought a pair of “Sony” buds as a makeshift replacement. They cost 30 RMB, bargained down from 55 which was the initial price set by the yawning sales girl.
Six days later they were broken: the left earpiece simply stopped working, perhaps in protest at our predilection for bands like Yob. So, back we went to try our luck at the electronics market. First we asked at the Apple store to see what they had, but only one set of headphones was available, the overpriced and much maligned iPod Ear Bud Headphones.
Instead we decided to try another set of cheapies. Now, every electronics stall in the market looks identical. Shanghaiist picked the first one that seemed to be selling audio equipment and made a beeline for it. Greeted by another yawning sales girl, we explained that we were looking for a set of cheap earphones for our iPod. She picked up a black set of “Samsung” buds and handed them across: “These are good. They’re 45 kuai.”
A quick test in the iPod and they seemed to work okay. But not wanting a repeat experience, we mentioned that we’d bought a set of Sonys (Sonies?) in the building a week ago only for them to fail within days.
To which the sales girl responded: “Oh, you can just have those then.” “Huh?” “Yeah, just have them. I don’t want any money.”
Shanghaiist hadn’t bought anything else in any of the stores, we hadn’t told this girl that it was her shop who sold us the duds, and we hadn’t looked worried when she mentioned the price. In fact, we’d retrieved our wallet from our pocket and already had it open.
Yet she insisted and handed over a new, free set of headphones. How very odd.
Less odd was the quick demise of the headphones, just four hours later, while our iPod played a seemingly innocuous Lambchop album.
So then … Anyone know the best bet for replacing a pair of iPod earphones? And where’s the best place to buy them in Shanghai?