Tag Archives: mall

The Golden Acre underground mall

The Golden Acre underground mall
The Golden Acre underground shopping mall in Cape Town used to be awesome. These days it's a little run down, a little dirty, and not a place that I'd rush to hang out at for an afternoon.

I used to work in the city a few years ago, and at that time I appreciated it greatly - not for the stores, but for the underground walkways. They offered a way to avoid having to wait for traffic lights to cross busy roads, and also provided shelter from the rain for much of the 10 minute walk between the train station and our office building.

Not a white Christmas

White Christmas trees

Yes, of course Africa celebrates Christmas... but white Christmas trees? I have to say that the chance of having a White Christmas in Cape Town is pretty slim, especially with the incredibly hot days we've been having.

Every now and again I wish that we could send some of our warm weather over to Europe to alleviate some of pain that they're feeling from the extreme cold spell that they're (you're) experiencing, but I very quickly take back these wishes as I remember our cold winter when I was practically counting down the days to summer!

Some day Kerry-Anne and I will visit the UK, France, or some similarly cold area over Christmas - just to see what a White Christmas is all about.

A barber for ethnic hair

African Barber
Traditional African hair, I believe, can be a tough job to style. From what I've noticed, ethnic hair tends to be tougher and more resiliant to styling than than European hair... and I guess that it stands to reason that this is the case - back in the day, tough African hair was needed to withstand the tough African sun. :)

I found this barber that focuses mostly on ethnic hair, in the Picbel Parkade shopping mall - only a little way from the Pick 'n Pay food store. A few years ago the Picbel Parkade was one of the dodgy areas that I would have avoided, but upon my last visit I noticed that it appears to have been cleaned up nicely.

Shopping for the holidays

Shopping for clothes
In addition to the inevitable madness of Christmas shopping, it's summer and a huge proportion of us are on holiday. Shops are overrun with large families shopping in troupes, girlfriends shopping together for summer fashion, couples walking slowly from store to store and (of course) tired-looking shop assistants.

It's certainly not a time to be spent in the shops. As Christmas draws close the madness will cease - for a day or two - and then it'll be back to large families shopping in troupes, girlfriends shopping together...

As a side note, I'm interested to hear how this December's retail earnings compare to those of the last few years. Perhaps it's just that I've avoided the shops as far as possible, but it seems to me as though spending is somewhat depressed.

Waterfront shopping

Shopping at the V&A Waterfront

This is the Barrow Mall on the first floor of the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre at the V&A Waterfront. At these barrows you can buy anything from pet's clothing to jewellery, and from sporting merchandise to mugs. This is presumably a slightly cheaper option for retailers, offering them a space to sell their products at a very popular mall, but without the high costs associated with renting an actual shop. Of course, it means they miss out on some of the luxuries of a shop too, like, say, a door...

As someone who used to sell products at a craft market, I think it would be awesome if these barrows were actual trailers that could be towed behind a car - you'd be able to sell your products anywhere you liked, without having to pack and unpack every time. Of course, with the way I take corners in my car, I'd have to tape everything down with duct tape, or stick to selling soft, non-breakable items like cushions. ;-)

The best place to be in a heatwave…


... is in an air-conditioned shopping mall, of course. The temperature here has been hovering around 38 degrees Celsius for the last two days (for our overseas readers, that's equivalent to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit). In a word: HOT. This kind of heat is stifling and extremely draining, and there's really very little one can do to keep cool. Escape is the best option. :)

Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Car

With the way that flower wholesalers increase prices over the days leading up to Valentine's Day, I guess I'm lucky that Kerry-Anne doesn't like red roses. :)

I'd hazard a guess that Valentine's Day needs no introduction to most of the people reading this blog, so I'll not get into explaining its origin, except to mention that it has a definite Catholic heritage. What many will be surprised to know is that in Japan it's traditionally the woman's responsibility to give her partner hand-made chocolate on this day, whereas on White Day (14 March) the man traditionally reciprocates with gifts that are usually more than just chocolate!

For those of you who left messages to my dire plea for suggestions of what to do this evening, thank you! I ended up making a simple (really simple) dinner (twice), and setting the table with a single long candle and a hand-picked assortment of flowers. Later in the evening we got all dressed up and went out to a party at a friend's house in Cape Town. It was plenty of fun. :)

Have you paid for your parking?

Parking paid

The blurry sign that you see in this photo reminds clients of this shopping centre to pay for their parking before exiting to the boom-gates. I still remain unconvinced that shopping centres aren't ripping us off by forcing us to pay for parking. Certain centres provide free open-air parking and paid undercover parking, leaving customers to decide whether or not they are prepared to pay for some shade from the African sun. This particular centre has no free parking.

I find paying to spend money at a shopping centre much like being charged to walk into a restaurant and look at the menu. I guess the shopping centre wins though - I still shop there regardless.

Break glass, press here

Fire alarm

Shopping malls and many other large buildings have fire alarms similar to this one. Don't you find that you just want to press on the glass? Every time I see one of these I have to hold myself back and stop myself from pressing that button. In fact, it took much restraint on my part not to press this one while trying to take the photo. I guess it's much like a dieting woman holding a slab of Lindt chocolate... irresistible. Well, almost irresistible.

The fire alarm in my office building is cleverly covered by a plastic flap that one would have to lift to expose the glass "button". It's a good thing too - I walk past this alarm 10 or 15 times each day.