The B&Q Video Crew

The B&Q video crew that taped my school and home

Taiwan’s largest home improvement store, B&Q, awarded six of its most frequent shopper accounts a free membership in its new elite Golden Orange club. Shu Mei and I were chosen as one of those lucky accounts.

This came about because of all the stuff that Shu Mei and I had purchased from them in the year preceding this. We needed the stuff for the building and furnishing of the New Star English School in Wuci. My father did most of the work with the building, he being a master carpenter. I am extremely grateful to him for his help with that (among other things).

Shu Mei and I were the focus of a video segment that was shown at a Christmas party kicking off the start of the frequent shoppers club. I have always viewed these elite clubs as just another place people congregate in order to get drunk together. Having had my fair share of such places in my life, I wasn’t very excited about being a member of this new club. However, I thought that the publicity from the video segment could help my school. So, I went along with it.

They came and taped footage of our school and home, showcasing the items that we had purchased from their store. There was a brief interview with Shu Mei and a small piece showing me putting up our business license on the wall (with a B&Q-bought hammer, of course). The video was shown to the attendees at a party a few weeks later.

The party was high-class, a bit too high-class for my caliber. However, we held our own as we dressed ourselves to the nines and took along baby Billy in his Sunday best. As usual, he was the center of attention. At the event were several notable Taiwanese celebrities. I hesitate to use the word “notable” as they weren’t such to me. If it weren’t for Shu Mei saying who they were, and what they were famous for, I wouldn’t have known them from Jack.

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After our video segment was shown, we were ushered onstage to be asked some questions from a “famous” Taiwanese singer, and party MC. Luckily, she spoke fluent English. She asked me what it felt like when I shopped at B&Q. I must have hit a chord with the feelings of the night, because when I responded “It’s like coming home,” the attendees stood up and cheered. They were videotaping the event and I was sure they’d use that phrase in a future commercial or something.

After the party, the CEO of B&Q asked me how shopping there was like “coming home”. I told him how the store was much like Home Depot, back home in the US. He said that was by design, as Home Depot was their sister company and they emulated it, even down to the color schemes and product placement within the stores.

All in all, it was a great night and I’m glad we were a part of it. It gave us a chance to go to Taipei and hobnob, albeit briefly, with the jetsetters. Besides, the food there was awesome. Not only did it taste good, it looked good. Each plate was like a work of art. I wonder if Home Depot has such extravaganzas.

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