Monday 19 December 2011


We went to the mall yesterday. It seems like such a simple outing, and yet, the experience was anything but ordinary especially when you take a curious, excitable, food-obsessed consumer [to be honest, this applies to the King and my partner in equal measure, so I'm referring to both]. To set the scene (as you know I like to do) this mall was like nothing I have ever seen. And trust me, I’m American, so I have seen my fair share of malls, but this mall was the size of a small city made of towering glass. It was so big it even had its own ‘parents’ area, as well as relaxation, faith and prayer area – we’ll get to that later.

When we first got there the King’s eyes almost popped out of his head. Imagine about two miles of marble flooring lined with shops with every conceivable color and item (to destroy) lining his walking path. He spent five minutes just smacking the glass of each store and throwing his head back with a loud hearty laugh (then of course he would kiss his reflection, which I don’t think the store owners appreciated). We soon discovered that you could rent these little cars in which you could push your child around in, before we even paid (these people are making an absolute killing, I assure you), the King had climbed in and was turning the steering wheel giving us a look that said, GO already, we have places to be.

We then spent the next hour or so in absolute awe. My partner (and the King of course) have hearty appetites and the site of so many different stalls and shops with more food than you could shake a stick at was enough to make their blood pressure rise. As expected we didn’t make it past the fresh bread stall without my partner and the King parking it in front of the tester table where they proceeded to try out every loaf they had.

By the time we hit the stores, the car the King was riding in was starting to look like a over-stuffed moving barge (bags, coats, purses and the King’s pram were all shoved in the back of this thing), which of course took out everything in its path. And my partner is one of those excitable pram/car pushers and ended up running it into the heels of those that got too close to him not to mention taking out his fair share of clothing racks. I can’t say the fitting room attendant was too thrilled when we took over the dressing room with the King’s vehicle as we proceeded to try on half the store [shockingly, the King loves dressing rooms, so it’s easy to shop and entertain. Brilliant parenting I admit].

By the time we hit the food court – which was NO ordinary food court – I was starting to feel weary and the mall was starting to look like every London resident had decided to descend upon it. So you know, I hate crowds; I mean really hate them to the point of anxiety, so hitting the mall the week before Christmas started to feel like not the brightest idea. That is when my partner suggested that we check out the relaxation and prayer area and perhaps I should take a nap (most likely so he could return to the bread stall). By the time we found it, it was clearly ‘prayer time’ for the Muslim population of London who had taken residence in the prayer room – I have to say, the place looked so comfortable I almost took a spot on the floor right next to them. Of course, the sight of our ‘car’ and of the King made them think twice about letting us in. Needless to say, I spent twenty minutes in the hallway on a sofa next to several families who were letting their children run up and down the hallway screaming their heads off – not very relaxing, but by then I didn’t give a hoot.

When my relaxation time came to end, the mall was starting to resemble a rock concert and I was starting to feel like Valium was in my future. After politely telling my partner that my mall threshold had peaked (okay, I was anything but calm or polite as crowds of bloodthirsty consumers were knocking into me from every direction) I got the hell out of there leaving my partner and the King in some shoe store where my son was happily flirting with the salesladies and kissing himself in a mirror. Needless to say, today I feel like I have returned from war, but at least our Christmas shopping (presents for us of course) is done.

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