Thursday, August 10, 2017

The mall thing

It's been cloudy these few days and now it's raining quite heavily, just enough to provide some much-needed cooling relief. So that's good, right? Lately the weather's been so unbearably hot and humid we're thankful for anything cool (which may or may not include a McD's strawberry ice cream cone ;). Only trouble is, when it rains, it gets even more humid. So that ice cream will work either way for sure lol.

Rainy days are best spent at home catching an afternoon nap or making up for that workout you skipped missed yesterday. Lately we've been 'hiding out' at the mall often to catch up on new eats under the guise of avoiding the intense humidity outside - shame on us! - which incidentally brings us to an old inside joke that the mall is the best place to be, if for nothing else, for the free air-conditioning.

Of course, there's never a lack of malls to hang out in. While online is predominantly the shopping method of choice in the Western world, malls in Asia are very much in vogue. In fact, trawling the malls may well be the national pastime for the whole family and for good reason...

Here the malls are a one-stop shop for everything from food and fashion to groceries and greenery. Restaurants, coffee shops, fashion stores, bakeries and confectioners, furniture stores, gyms, florists, pharmacies, music stores (some even offering music classes), grocery stores, telecommunication service outlets, pet stores, banks, cinemas, even a post office - pretty much anything you can think of, you can find under one roof.

So it goes without saying that the malls are massive, multi-storey affairs, some with offices and residential condominiums in high-rises above the mall. Some malls have outdoor gardens featuring exotic plants and aquariums. Others boast rooftop gardens and outdoor activity areas for rock climbing, paintball, etc. One mall even has an indoor roller-coaster (what's up with that?!).

So yeah, the mall purportedly has something for everyone so it's not surprising that as the weekend approaches, it starts getting busier and busier (read: crazier and crazier). Parking becomes a nightmare. The trick is to get an early start. I like insist on getting there by the stroke of 10:00 when the mall opens to ensure I get a parking spot instantly without having to circle round like a vulture.

Way back when my kids were younger, we would sometimes arrive at the mall an hour or more after opening time only to circle endlessly and finally leave and go home without securing a parking spot. What a waste of time! So no, we either get there at 10 sharp or we don't go at all, and that's House Rule #108.