The best thing about my local mall is the bubble tea kiosk. I like to go there just for that. Well, that and the movies. I love tea and I love movies. The bubble tea place has all different kinds, something for everyone. Obviously, you can find the usual like green, black, and white, but there are also exotic mixtures to choose from, like pomegranate and lime or marshmallow root and licorice, you name it. My fave is Rose of San Francisco. No idea what’s in it and maybe that’s for the best. But I’ll tell you this much… it is yuuummmmyy.
The mall itself? Meh. It’s humongous. I’ll give it that. Now, it’s not “Mall of the Americas” humongous, but it’s up there… the largest in our state, for whatever that’s worth. It’s a trek just to get to an entrance, of which there are many, from one of the parking lots — a veritable exercise in stamina. St. Petersburg has its Hermitage, for Paris it’s the Louvre, my city has a massive mall, oh, with an adjacent casino. Just like those famous European art galleries, you can walk this sprawling mecca of capitalism in an afternoon, but not if you try to look at everything. That’s a rookie’s mistake. Another mistake would be thinking you could afford anything in this place.
See that pair of mustard-colored chinos in that H&M store over there in Neighborhood Q (oh, yeah, this mall has neighborhoods)? That’s the equivalent of a commissioned Rembrandt. That chemical cocktail of avocado and raspberry and something you can only describe as “mossy” coming from Lush in Neighborhood A? That’s an M.C. Escher right there. And that fancy store selling Prada and Gucci handbags… the one that never seems to have any customers, but all they need is one sale per month and they make their cut anyway? The Mona Lisa, of course.
I’ll admit it, I’m the worst kind of patron. Oh sure, I’ll go to the movies and I always get bubble tea, but as for shopping-shopping, uh, no. Sometimes, I go and just meander around and check out random things in shop windows, just to have something to do. I may have mentioned this before, but it’s a LLLLOT of walking, with an obstacle course through aggressive kiosk hawkers thrown in. I have found that it’s almost worthwhile to don your hiking books and backpack – complete with snacks, a high-beam flashlight to make S.O.S signals, and an emergency whistle just in case of shopping mall fatigue… that state of utter exhaustion where you find yourself lying helplessly on the shiny tiled floor, one hand outstretched, in vain, toward the nearest escalator only ten miles away. “Can’t … go on … no … more … shopping!” And yet, here you are, clear on the opposite side of the mall from where you parked. As despair hits you full in the face, you resolutely straighten your shoulders, throw back your head, take a fortifying swig of your bubble tea, and stumble off on aching feet … back from whence you came.
So why do I do it, I ask myself?
It’s all about that Rose of San Francisco.
Once I mixed instant coffee with club soda, thinking I might be on to something big. It was not at all good-tasting.
I don’t judge malls by their size. I judge them by their acoustics and lighting. Some are brightly lit with some kind of super white illumination that just screams “migraine trigger!”. While I’m sure there’s a mall somewhere that’s designed for this acoustically sensitive Aspie, I’m yet to find it. Five minutes in most malls and I’m on a knife edge as flight or fight modes struggle for dominance. Usually it’s flight. For me, they are definitely not places to linger in.
As for bubble teas, there are two cafes in a nearby city that serve them. My favourite flavours are coffee, lavender, feijoa, and one I don’t recall the name of but had definite notes of lemongrass.
I love your observations
you forgot about a flar pistol with spare flares to signal S&R when their helicopter is close by. I’m pretty sure Macy’s would be a tad PO’d at you if you used it in their store tho. just as for the manager on duty in that case. 😉