In my Lessons About Time & Chemistry post, I told how pessimistic I was about finding a shop that can replace my watch battery in a small rural town.

In my own words –“Some might argue that I can just go to the town and get one replaced there. Unfortunately, not for Dengfeng – the town consists of shops selling mainly kung fu merchandise, fruit and mobile phones”.

Well, I stand completely corrected.

On my way into the local supermarket on Saturday, I noticed a small kiosk-type desk manned by a prudent young boy, who couldn’t have been much older than 4 years old. Among selling hot dogs, cigarettes and mobile phone covers, I noticed that a few watches were being sold. After spotting the mother of the young child, I asked her in my best Mandarin if she sold watch batteries.

Not only did she sell watch batteries, but the lady pulled out a full toolkit of micro-screwdrivers, carefully opened my watch up and replaced the watch battery for me. All for the total cost of 5 RMB (~50p).

Lesson learned – don’t underestimate small towns…