Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Lightning Strikes": Doctor Optical & Eye Glasses

OK, this is not about lightning, but about the randomness of unexpected events while traveling around the globe.  things can happen quickly, when you least expect it, just like lightning!  

I’m in Taiwan for over a month and a half, and as the crow flies (direct distance) I am 6542 miles (over 10,500 kilometers) from my home in California.  I did bring my glasses and an older prescription backup.  I thought I was “golden” or well prepared for my Asia trip.  I really didn’t even want to bring my back-up glasses because I have traveled around the world for many years, have flown over 5 million miles in the air, and have never had problems with my glasses and NEVER needed a backup pair.  

I should also mention that I had a special metallic eye glass frame that you can twist, turn, bend, and they will not break or deform and they spring right back into shape.

Well “lightning strikes” when you least expect it.   (Just kidding, lightning is just a metaphor)

I was cleaning my lenses holding the center bridge in my fingers, and my glasses snapped in half.   

My broken glasses!

How could that happen????????  I was told when I bought these $400 USD frames that it was seemingly impossible for this special metallic frame to damage them under normal use.   I expected this was the last frame I would need to purchase even if I needed to get new prescription lenses.

As a global traveler, “Expect the Unexpected” because anything can happen when you least expect it on the road. Remember the three T’s……. (Trials and Tribulations of Travel).  Well, when you least expect it, trouble lurks around the corner and then happens.

Now I do not have my prescription with me in Taiwan, and do not really want to spend $800 (the price I paid in the US) again for new glasses, so when I tried on my back-up glasses. I quickly realized I packed a pair that must be more than 10 years old, because all my vision is blurred wearing these backups.  
Now Taipei has literally hundreds of eye glass stores around the city.  They are everywhere.  We decided we would try to see if one of them could laser weld the frames back together for me.  One after another, they looked at the frames, said they could not or would not weld the frames for me.  But, they would be happy to sell me new frames and lenses.  Yep, their prices ranged from $500 to $750 USD. 
We decided to keep looking and deal with my blurred vision until we found a better solution.

We needed to find a good pet store since our pets would be home from quarantine soon.  We found a great pet store (Polo) near the NTU Campus.

Our IGGY's at the Polo Pet Store

Walking from the MRT GongGuan station to the pet store, we passed by several eye glass stores, and decided to turn around and go back to the first one and show them my broken glasses.  

The store’s name is Doctor Optical Co., and Mr. Lin helped us and took my glasses to his expert in the back.  

In moments he came out and told us the material used in these “flex” frames cannot be welded.   

Now I wonder why other eye glass professionals could not give me a straight answer?  So now I trust this guy and started to think about buying frame and lenses from him.  

However, before I could actually decide, he suggested that he could probably find an eye glass frame that my expensive lenses could fit into.  But, he did say he did not have “flex” lenses.  I asked him to show me what he had.   

Behind the counter he has so many trays of frames.  He opened a few, and when he had the right one, he found three different frames I could select from.  I immediately liked the “Polo” frames and he said it would take about 15-20 minutes.  

Ok, now I was preparing myself for the cost, expecting the worst, but I was in for a big surprise.  He offered me a big discount on these frames, and the final price was less than $60.00 USD.  WOW, he adjusted my new frames so they fit perfect, and also did the same for my backup pair of eye glasses at no charge.  What a nice, honest guy, a friendly place to do business, and a provider of excellent service.  I even went back a few weeks later for an adjustment, with our two Italian Greyhounds, and again, no charge.  The sales lady kindly brought out a cup of water for our dogs!

I already decided, if I need a new pair of glasses while in Taiwan, I will go back to Doctor Optical.


They are located on Section 3, Luosifu Rd., and just a short walk from the GongGuan MRT Station.  You can contact them as follows:
Tel: 2365-9955
Fax: 2368-8894

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