Shopping Malls for the Rich and Famous

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This post was originally published in 2007
It may contain stale & outdated information. Or it may have grown more awesome with age, like the author.

It was like walking into a nightmare. First floor - Makeup Second floor - Clothes/makeup Third floor - Clothes/Starbucks Fourth floor - Clothes (more expensive than the third floor) Fifth floor - Clothes Sixth floor - Guess? Seventh floor - Cellphones and clothes Basement - Foodcourt/makeup We went to three (four?) malls, all like this. NZ doesn't have anything like them. The third one we went to was the most opulent, costly mall you could ever imagine. I actually thought the price tags were misprints, until I had seen ten pairs of pants all priced at 6000 RMB (~1000NZD). This mall also had the most makeup. Yvonne made a bee-line to the 'Kanebo' stand, and started talking with the saleswoman. The saleswoman convinced her to sit down so Yvonne could experience the wonders of the Kanebo brand first hand. I guessed this would take awhile, and walked off. The entire centre of this mall was filled with makeup stands. Actually, I'm going to call them 'makeup shrines', due to the religious fervor that women displayed when nearing one. So as Yvonne was paying her respects to the Goddess Kanebo, I wandered around first the interior of the mall, then the exterior. The interior, like I said, was stupidly posh. Who wants to pay 1000NZD for a pair of brown pants? Maybe if the stitching was gold thread, but not for 'prophet brown' cotton. The salespeople were nice though, and when I told them I wasn't interested in buying anything, I was just waiting for Yvonne, they offered me a seat. I politely declined, saying: "?????????????????????????? ???" Or: "I can sit for ages on the bus, so I'll stand for now, thanks." That made them leave me alone. Aside from the TVs I saw on the top floor (32" Panasonic LCD = 6000 RMB, or a pair of brown pants), I only saw one thing I wanted. A nice blue tie, in the same shop as the pants. I couldn't be bothered asking the price though. I guess it'd be over 200 NZD. Looking at things one can't afford/doesn't want quickly becomes boring, so I left. I stood out the front and watched the security guards usher street merchants (selling umbrellas - it was raining lightly) away. The street merchants didn't actually, leave, instead they stood in a group on the corner. The security guards kept a good eye on them though, making sure those stupid enough not to bring an umbrella with them on such a day were punished properly. Some time during the shopping mall wander I went to the toilet. The toilets were nice, see photo. Yvonne finished, and bought some makeup. The saleswoman was good at her job, and Yvonne left with less money and more makeup than she had planned. I explained that one has to pretend that your money is your blood, and salespeople are vampires trying to suck it out. Anything else and one doesn't care about the money enough to put up a good defense. Or one can simply ignore the salespeople unless one actually needs a question answered, like I do. After that we went to KFC. NZ KFC are total crap compared to these ones. There are no grossly overweight people slouching in the corner stalls, and there is a hand-washing area near the service counter. Like every fast-food store in China, KFC sells chicken wings. I had a burger, which was about the same as the NZ version. The chips weren't as good as the NZ ones, but I ate them all anyway. Also the pepsi tasted like it had dirt in it, but I've had 'dirt pepsi' in NZ as well. This didn't affect my lack of desire to drink much of it though, as I have learned to drink copiously at home, and not at all when out. The KFC tray liner has a funny Chinese KFC motto on it, which I'll get Yvonne to translate again some other time. Oh yeah and we went on the subway, which was fun. The subway was much faster than the bus, obviously, and cost about the same I think. There is no subway to Yvonne's parent's house though, not until 2009. The bus rides from Baoshan (Yvonne's parents' suburb) to the subway terminal took about an hour.
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