My Asian Adventure - Part Three, SM Mall

Saturday, Eric took us to the largest mall I’ve ever seen in my whole life. It was four glorious stories of bright and shiny shopping opportunities. We barely got to see any of it, it was just too much for one outing. Because it was the weekend, it was packed, so we got to get an overview of the people on our first day in country. Although they do speak English here, they have their own language (ya think? lol) and it was a sea of short people speaking in a foreign tongue. Wow, just wow, nothing like some culture shock combined with jet lag to completely overwhelm me. LOL! The good news is that I can see forever here because I’m one of the tallest people. :)

We had a list of stuff that we needed to buy, but the first order of business was getting some of our money exchanged. We asked a security guard, who took us to a kiosk where we had to wait a few minutes before the guy took us to another kiosk, where that guy exchanged our money for what Eric said was a good rate. The whole thing felt like some sort of strange drug deal. We’ve since exchanged money a couple more times and it hasn’t seemed nearly as shady as that. They even have a place inside the grocery store where you can get a receipt, so that’s probably going to be my preferred place until my American cash runs out.

They have a whole “cyber” section for the electronics stores and, since we were looking for an internet option for the house, we headed that way. You’d think because they make all the electronics on this side of the world that they would be dirt cheap, but alas that’s not the case. Apparently they ship most of the stuff to America so it’s actually higher priced here. Whoda thunk it? Not me. I will say their electronics come in far more adorable fashion colors here, and I saw a red laptop with the Ferrari symbol on it. Want!

As we walked through the mall, I was eyeing the windows of the stores and found the fashion to be nothing like anything I would ever be caught dead in. Thankfully Eric has a tailor out here because I’m not convinced I’ll be able to buy anything that is cute to me right off the rack. What a huge disappointment. Also disappointing was the home fashion. We were looking for curtains for our rooms to help us feel homier, but it looks like we’ll also be getting those made. Thankfully I did manage to find a furry black throw pillow for my bed that makes me very happy. I’m sure it’s a cultural thing, but clearly there are no goth types in the East…or at least none that I’ve found yet. I’m not giving up.

The noise pollution in the shopping areas is totally ridiculous. The people with the samples and promotions all either have bullhorns or headset mics with sound systems, and they basically blast you as you walk by them. It makes me want to punch someone in the head, but Eric assures me I’ll get used to it. I’m hopeful that’s true for my own peace of mind and everyone’s safety. LOL!

I had heard that karaoke was huge over here but nothing could have prepared me for our experience while we were at the mall. We heard what sounded like bad karaoke so Mike went to investigate. As it turned out, the local pop stars were singing badly over their own tracks (and off key, oh lordy!) and the people were literally running to go catch a glimpse. All four levels of the mall were crowded with people packed at the railings who were so excited this was happening. It was a huge WTF moment.

That's all I've got for today. More adventures to come!


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