randomduck

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Date: 4 February, 2007

workout log: 4 february 2007

Activity: road cycling
Location: Hains Point, DC
Distance: 17.2 miles (flat)
Duration: 1:04
Weather: cold, 26 degrees
Avg HR: 150 (max 172)
Type: aerobic

About 40 minutes of laps around Hains Point to keep the legs going. It was cold!

i hate malls

So today’s adventure brought sprite and me to Tyson’s Corner to exchange a pair of jeans (hers) and get a watch battery replaced (mine). It’s the first time I’ve been to a mega-mall for anything other than Christmas shopping in a long time.

And I quickly remembered that I hate shopping malls.

First, there’s the parking. Tyson’s Corner is a horrifically large mall, surrounded by parking structures that vary between 4 and 8 levels. We ended up parking on the 5th level of a lot (called “Terrace E”) at the northeast corner of the mall. The traffic in the parking structure was unreal: people jousting for spaces, often ignoring common decency, basic driving skills, and the laws of physics.

Then we enter the mall. Entering via the 4th-floor ramp into the upper level of the mall, we’re next to a mega-sized Barnes & Noble and an Old Navy store. The store we seek – Eddie Bauer – is somewhere in the mall. We pass the usual stores – Banana Republic, Abercrombie & Fitch, and a lot of the new “concept” stores, with pulsing music and overpowering scents of poorly-formulated eau du toilette.

To make things worse, after we finish at Eddie Bauer, we go in search of the little fix-it store that replaces watch batteries and we pass a second Banana Republic store. If I hadn’t realized that this is a normal thing in many of the larger malls, it would’ve been enough to cause a lot of confusion. After all, if you already passed the BR store going in one way, and then passed another location of the same store, well…. it can mess with one’s psyche.

So we drop off my watch and wander around the mall while it’s being serviced. The crowd of people, walking at a pace than can only be described as “confused glacial,” is simply maddening. And we’re both hungry. sprite walks into a CVS to pick up a candy bar, but the lines are long and slow (as if it’s every any different at CVS). I duck into the Apple Store to see what’s on their clearance table (memo to Apple: stop putting your stores exclusively in malls, as you lose potential customers that way).

We return to the fix-it store (via a shortcut that involves cutting through another parking structure) and pick up my watch. sprite also brought along the claim stub for a watch she dropped off at the same store almost two years ago, expecting that her watch was long-gone. But no! The person takes down her contact info and says that the watch is at their off-site storage location. sprite will get a call in a few days if everything turns out okay, so that’s a plus.

Once all the fix-it stuff is done, we high-tail it out of the mall to another shopping area down the road. Hungry, we stop and get food at Panera, which is okay – sprite’s hot chocolate was impressive, to say the least! We did a bit more shopping, which netted her some clothes and me some needed bike stuff (a balaclava and some arm warmers).

But the whole mall experience was tiring. Seriously: I’ve felt less winded (both mentally and physically) after a 100-plus mile bike ride than after a couple of hours at a gigantic, soulless mall. And I find it truly frightening that some people actually prefer to shop in a mall over a bunch of mom-and-pop stores, or a vibrant downtown with real streets, real storefronts, and real sunshine.

I’m so, so glad that I live in a city, rather than in the burbs.

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