A day at the mall

a day at the mall

Did you ever imagine how was it to spend almost a day at the mall during a working day?

Well I did this experiment, in fact I had to, on Wednesday, January 2nd. To explain the “Why I had to”, every two Thursdays, Maria our housekeeper comes home and spends a few hours to dust off, clean up and make our home nicer, cleaner and fresher. During these hours Maria doesn’t expect any of us to be home, therefore any person who has no work that day need to go before she comes at 8:30 a.m.

That was my case yesterday… So my best option was to take my stuff to write and read, and leave under a polar cold of -27 Celsius…in the beautiful city of Montreal.

I got there around 8:45, all shops still closed, but luckily the mall was opened and a few coffee shops were actively awaiting for customers. I met with a group of seniors who usually, on winter time, have their morning walk there, I was also able to find (finally) the location for the lockers, all available, but I need some change, so I went to a variety shop, the owner made it clear, no purchase no change, so I had to buy something in order to get my three quarters to rent a locker for the day. When done, I went for a coffee and read a bit until shops open. I got a double long espresso, the French croissant were freshly baked, how to resist (could you resist to that amazing smell? I guess not, well I did not).

It was funny to observe how a shopping mall arises from the silent life of the previous night. The one-dollar store was the first to open, and the team there was busy, very busy, talking, laughing while arranging goods on the shelves, the security people walking slowly talking into their devices, the peaceful atmosphere did not last long, around half past nine the central music started (still some season’s songs, Santa was still scheduled for tonight as the song said, I smiled and thought how trivial these songs mean when there is no purpose and the event is in the past. There were the first people coming in, mostly staff, and some dads and moms holding their kids who were asking tons of questions about why they would be at the mall instead of staying home and playing with their new toys (go figure why adults take their kids at the mall on such freezing days, do they do it for themselves or for their kids?).

SO finally I spent most of my morning discovering places, stores, boutiques, I never wanted to stop by during the “normal” shopping moments on week-ends.

I think I learned a lot about this unknown nation of people who spend the day in malls while we are at work.

I never noticed time was flying by until I felt I was really hungry and went to the food course promising myself to write something about this day. After a sushi lunch I started typing a few words and noticed that some people were looking at me, was I inspiring or too concentrated until a couple staring at me for a while smiled and asked me about the type of tablet I was using, (ha! And I who thought they were interested in me!) We had a short conversation about the hardware and technology I was using, then I finished and published my article (the one in French) and headed back home.

Maria was gone, but I could feel her presence through all the little objects she stores in places only known to her, (yes Maria is also a very determined, assertive and rigorous lady who decides how good and right things and objects must be stored. I gave up asking her not to make us play this treasure hunt every time she comes and makes home nicer and cleaner. So now she’s part of our life and funny side of it…So arriving home I looked for my drinking cup I usually leave on the kitchen counter, found it and smiled knowing I would also have to rearrange the place for the toaster, the coffee grinder, the blender’s jar, and so many other things she knows where it is best to store! Ah Maria what would I would do without you!

So I guess a day at the mall was some kind of a new discovery for me. Maybe if you will have to spend a similar moment someday, I sincerely wish you a real pleasant time.

 Michel – January 3, 2014

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