This post is dedicated to Mark’s Warden. For she has showed me the way when no others could. So, thank you. This post, I hope, is the first and last time my toilet bowl is featured in my website. The story begins with the heavy drilling noise from one of our neighbors one morning, when I was nursing my flu and onto the second day of my anti-biotic medication. Another apartment bought and sold, another renovation to take place. The dust that we had borne when the family next door had their home renovated, the incoming mess is going to be all over again. And now, someone somewhere was hacking the floor, hacking the wall. Two drillers at least. I could feel the vibration. The mechanical pulsation that no music regardless how loud could overcome or conquer.
The intense drilling sound did hit me with something else other than distraction. It focused onto an inspiration that was incepted into my mind: Time to replace our broken toilet seats. To do that, I had to remove the part of the seat that appeared to have glued to the toilet bowl. I tried to remove it by brutal force with the back of a hammer. It would not budge. I then Googled for a solution. Lo and behold, there are more than one YouTube videos on this very topic. And you would think, who would spend time making such a trivial video? Well, I thank the dudes who make them.
To uninstall a toilet seat, all you need to do is to unscrew two bolts from directly underneath the hinge. You can even use your bare hands. After I did that, I took some scientific measurements on every dimension I can think of, and then headed off to the address provided by Mark’s Warden. I felt lifted as I sped away from the deafening drilling sound.
A toilet seat is just a toilet seat, yes? Not so. There are different brands, different shapes, different models from different eras. I walked from shops to shops showing them the measurements. But no one could understand. No matter. I had lunch around the area, much delighted by the delicious wanton noodle at Balestier Road. After lunch, I drove home, Googled the address of the toilet distributor, and I headed to Balmoral Plaza carrying with me the broken toilet seat. If there is one place I can replace my MaClaire toilet seats, that has to be it. Yes?
Not when the office does not exist anymore. Fortunately, Balmoral Plaza was not far from Balestier Road. I walked into the first shop at Balestier Road with my decade old toilet seat. One young and pretty girl with strong Thai accent greeted me with a smile and said, “Eeee, yours is so small!”. I was taken aback as that was a comment I seldom encounter. I replied, “Well, it is six and a half inches.” “Really?” replied her. “Yes, hole-to-hole,” I added.
Matching the hole-to-hole dimension is the first step (the distance between the bolts that hold the seat in place). Unfortunately we could not find a matching shape. “It is better if you can find the same brand,” she offered. And so I attempted. Walking from one shop to another, holding the toilet seat with me, like a detective, I was hunting for the MaClaire toilets. Finally, I got a lead that a shop called Lookz carries the brand. The good news was, I found the shop. The bad news was, the car park was not nearby.
I parked the car, opened the car boot, and took out my old toilet seat. Sigh. So I was going to carry a toilet seat, through the public housing estate, and through the bus stop and row of shops full of people. Look at the bright side, I saw a thick blanket of dark cloud forming from a distance. If it rained, I could use the toilet seat cover as an umbrella.
Yes, I found the MaClaire brand selling at Lookz. No, I could not find the exact match. The friendly staffs were helpful in showing me that the difference was not significant. They removed one of the display unit and set my old toilet seat onto their new toilet bowl. “You see, it is just a bit wider. Wider, more shiok!” the young handsome tall man said with a genuine smile. The word shiok did it (shiok means extreme pleasure I think). “How much does it cost,” asked I. “S$55,” he replied. “S$55?! Best price please! I am buying two.” “Erm.” “Cash! I pay cash!” A minute later, he returned with a discount price of S$90 for two and a smile, “This is soft closing. Better than yours!”.
Looking back, I have no idea if I have paid too much or just about right. I am happy that the seats are now fixed. And I managed to sleep for an hour with the stereo symphony of the dual drilling machines from our neighbor upstairs or downstairs, I do not know. I am unable to figure out.