I went to the mall today. Shopping malls scare me because they are filled with underpaid cashiers (aka sales assistants, though I doubt their fancy position title makes them feel any better), uprooted teenagers and homeless people foraging unfinished junk food from the bins. The scariest part though is that once you enter the mall, the end of the world could be happening outside and you’d never know.
I begrudgingly ventured in the mall because half a year ago, I needed a haircut, and half a year later, the need hasn’t diminished, quite the contrary. I could get away with my lack of hairstyle outside because I wear a scarf wrapped around my head in winter (arguably, my headscarf was scaring more people than my nonexistent hairstyle would), but I thought it would nice to get civilised again.
After I had my hair cut and dyed an actual colour (my natural colour is nondescript colourless) and told the hairdresser that the result was great (it wasn’t), she proceeded to charge me for the mineral water she offered me (refreshments were normally included in the whooping prices of the hairstudio as far as I could remember), which upset me, so I upset her by not leaving a tip. I’m mean.
Not particularly pleased with either myself or my new hair, I went to see if there were any shops selling maternity clothes. I’m not pregnant but I look it. Apparently, the hot fashion for February 2016 are thin see-through blouses and things with tassels. In HM, though, which is here a shop where poor people shop, I found trousers that met my single demand: a stretch waistband, no zippers, no buttons. In C&A, which is here a shop where even poorer people shop, I found a cheap shirt suitable as homewear.
I have a high demand for homewear because I have a cat who hates it that I wear clothes and made it her business to chew and claw everything I dare wear. When I unwrapped the shirt at home, I cut the useless hanging loop off the item and gave the loop to the cat to play with. My cat doesn’t get smart toys that I buy her, and as I expected, she was extremely thrilled with the loop.
I had some close encounters of the third kind in the mall. I was chased by a woman from a mobile stand, who called after me ma’m and offered to measure the amount of fat in my body. She offended me twice in one take. Because ma’m? When you call someone this in my culture, it means that you deem the person addressed to be an old lady. Also, fat measurement? I know I’m fat and I don’t consider it polite to be reminded. I’m touchy.
I also had a girl in the lift ask me if I happened to know whether Seneca was on the first floor. I replied that I didn’t think they kept the bones of dead philosophers in the mall. Seneca turned out to be a coffee shop, which I passed when I got, as usual, lost in the mall. Later I saw whom I thought was the same Seneca-eager girl, and she looked lost too. I directed her to Seneca, against my better judgement because all people look the same to me and I suspected I might be directing an entirely different person. I turned to be right this time. The girl and I were both pleased.