The Mall

This weekend as I do every weekend I made my pilgrimage down to one of the local malls to go buy things I don’t need, forget to buy the things I do need and to be pushed, shoved and stand in queue’s for hours and as usual I enjoyed it.

I’m not a “people” person, I dislike crowds I dislike large groups of people and I dislike being left alone with people I don’t actually know. But for some weird reason I enjoy malls. I do realise there are alot of people but generally they are not bothered by you and are on there own quest to find cheaper goods… pick up the special something for the some one they love or like me want to kill a few hours on a cold, wet and windy saturday afternoon.

I enjoy wondering aimlessly… and tend to watch the people more then the items in the shop windows. I may on occation pick something up that I see, like a Mac Mini or perhaps a DVD or a book, but it’s normally because I happened to see it while I was browsing and not because I went to the shop with the goal of purchasing it. While I’m wondering around shops “browsing” I try remember as much of the details as I can… what was on the book shelves at Exclusive Books, is this book cheaper at Bargain Books. What colour were the leather jackets I saw and how much were they? and has the shop gotten new stock since the last time I was here. It makes a change from remembering stuff about computers that I have to do all day while I work.. and it comes in handy when someone says something along the lines of “I wonder where I could get a lime green suitcase for less then R600” and oddly enough I know not only where to find the lime green suitcase but also have actually been asked the question.

Although while all of this is a lot of fun the best part of going to the mall is to watch the people. I’m not just talking about the scantily clad young women who walk around the mall, but the newly weds where the husband carry’s around his wife’s handbag and has to comment on how lovely the duvet is or “Yes darling we do need more pink throw pillows..” or the couple that nearly came to blows because he bought 1ply instead of 2ply toilet paper, because what would her book club think when they came over? I’ve come to the simple conclusion that the rest of the population of capetown, and in particular the female population seem to care more about looking good then being warm. I was dressed in Jeans, T-shirt and tracksuit top (2 actually… one a polar fleece one.) and was still a little bit cold… however on a number of occasions I spotted women with bare midriff’s short sleaves and on the odd occation short pants… (or the least you can wear while still calling them pants…) For guys though, Leather jackets were definitely in.. but of course there were the odd guys walking around in slipslops, short pants (“PT Shorts”) and t-shirts.
The strange thing is that while everyone seems to realise that people are going to be watching them they don’t seem to realise that other people might be listening to them. Today while travelling down an escaltor I overheard the two women infront of me discussing various bits of there male partners (both current and former…) anatomy. I’m pretty sure that this is not something that you would discuss at a party? I could probably write a book on things overheard in restaurants and malls, or perhaps the one sided discussions that you now get to hear when anyone talks on their cell phone? How many times have you overheard what sounded like the lady in the queue in front of you was hiring a hitman to bump off her husband?
Because Capetown is now such a big tourist attraction it’s not uncommon to overhear someone having a conversation in a foreign language. Outside the toy shop today were two women/girls (somwere between 16-22, clothing was a bit misleading…) who were having a very lively discussion in what I think was German about something or other… judging by the way they were acting and the couple of words I caught and could decypher I would think it envolved someone who had just walked by and they thought he was rather good looking… I can only hope it was me…