My local pharmacy had a run on special offers.
I know this because the smooth trills of international concert pianist Richard Clayderman swept through speakers strategically placed either side of the double entrance doors drawing me in.
I walked slowly amidst the blend of symphonic harmonies and became one with Richard and his Steinway. Once inside and away from the musical delight I returned to earth with a bump and lost interest in the products, the fact that I’m not actually ill contributing to my reluctance to purchase anything medicinal.
Exiting through the main doors my ears were again filled with the deft and nimble expert sound of Richard’s fingers floating across the keyboards. As I walked away, his melodies following me, I had a serene sense that at that moment all was right with the world.
The ushers allowed us into the theatre to take our seats and get comfortable slightly earlier than usual.
The lights weren’t dimmed and there was no sign as yet of the upcoming feature film. The screen was still covered by a thick, red velvet curtain. (why are cinema curtains always red?)
I sat down carefully, popcorn in one hand, coke in the other, handbag balancing precariously on my shoulder, humming along to familiar songs coming at me in surround sound. It was only when I began singing ‘I’m all shook up!’ that I realized that Elvis was indeed in the building.
For the next twenty minutes, via the PA system, the King and I sang a duo to his greatest hits in-between munching on and slurping refreshments (me, not him). Not at all what I’d expected to hear at a Chinese cinema, but appreciated nonetheless.
Nat King Cole and Tofu
I’d just finished washing my hands in the ‘Happy Handwashing Place’ at my favourite local eaterie and made my way to a table to wait for my boiled rice, green veg and spicy tofu.
As I focused on the music I wondered if my forth-coming evening meal was one of ‘These Foolish Things,’ that Nat King Cole was singing about.
I hoped not.
His silky, nicotine soaked tones drifted through the restaurant but sadly, no-one but me took any notice. ‘Dance Ballerina Dance,’ ‘Too Young’ and many more of his gorgeous songs created an American Chinese cultural diffusion of past and present.
A totally wonderful backdrop to my evening repast.