How I was sort of kidnapped in a mall in Singapore

Yesterday, I flew in to Singapore for a short vacation and to spend time with family and friends. 

Later that same evening, I went to an upscale mall near the City Hall MRT Station to have dinner with friends. I thought I could easily find the restaurant as it was supposed to be near the exit. Although my friend’s directions were a bit confusing, I had full confidence I could find the place. I like exploring the large, byzantine malls in the Philippines, so I thought I was in my element.

I couldn’t have been more wrong haha.

A few minutes after I exited the train station, I found the entrance to the mall. I was busy messaging my friends when a Singaporean woman called my attention. When I looked back, she was right behind me, telling me about some product.

She handed me a free packet of a moisturizing cream. The next second she was applying hand cream on the back of my hand. She asked me if I had a minute, and I said I did not, and that I needed directions. She pulled me to their shop, and asked me to wash off the cream on their sink. She left me to wash my hand, but only for a moment.

She returned right away and blabbered about their products, while applying what seemed like facial wash on my left cheek. She asked me what I use on my skin, then proceeded to point out all the flaws on my face. I didn’t mind, although I was in a hurry. And I felt it would be rude to leave while she was talking.

And so she talked and talked, applying product after product on half of my face (so I had makeup on the other half haha). She said I had terrbile skin, and seemed genuinely curious if I take care of my skin at all. (Looking back, it was so funny. Annoying and inconsiderate, but funny.) 

She had rapidly changing emotions as she fired away and berated me about my skin care regimen: exasperation (“You have such great skin but you don’t take care of it”), annoyance (“If you were given the chance to get rid of your blackheads, why won’t you do it?”), compassionate (“I know you want to have clear skin, so I’m going to give you a good deal”) , to solid IDGAF-anymore attitude (“You say your skin is getting itchy? Fine, then don’t take it if you want it”).

It lasted for about ten minutes. When I had the chance to speak, I told her I didn’t want it, and that my skin was irritated (to which she said “fine!”).

So what did I learn?

  1. Trust your instinct. Don’t talk to strangers who make you feel uncomfortable.
  2. Don’t trust people who talk too fast. They’re trying to get you to reach into your wallet faster.
  3. Learn to say no and walk away! Haha

I’m not saying that this can happen to anyone who visits Singapore. I’ve experienced this before in Manila (in a mall called Glorietta). I practically had to run away to get as far as possible from the saleslady.

Have you ever fallen victim to this trick before? I hope you didn’t shell out a stupendous amount of money for it. Tell me about it in the comments! 

8 thoughts on “How I was sort of kidnapped in a mall in Singapore

  1. This happens in the Philippines, too. Watch out for those Middle Eastern looking guys around kiosks with sinks that hold some kind of cream or exfoliant from the “Dead Sea”. They are more capable of cornering Filipinos because they’re more assertive and are not attuned to the Filipino’s silent cues.

    1. Oh my gosh, that happened to me too haha. I should have known they are in many cities! Anyway, they used the same tactics… It’s just so sad because they take advantage of our being unable to say no right away!

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