Sunday, November 11, 2007

The goose is getting fat

I've almost finished my seasonal gift-getting. Don't think that being Jewish gets me off the hook (although granted, it helps). There are 7 people in my family who all have their birthdays in November and December. Then there are others who require holiday gifts (Ken's family, for example). So, in the end it adds up to a fair bit of shopping.

I spent most of the weekend zinging around the inside of the Eaton Centre (downtown Toronto's only big, indoor mall), hauling bags until my shoulders ached. The place was already jam-packed with holiday shoppers. It was the kind of crowded where you can't help but bump into people and their packages every few paces, as you try to maneuver from one store to the next. This tends to bring on my flight-or-fight reflex, which adds another dimension of Me No Likey to whole experience.

I like the idea of shopping online, and I do some of that, but mostly I prefer to have full sensory interaction with objects before I buy them. Dad, I'm sorry that the corner of your calendar is wrinkly, but I couldn't buy it without a little taste first. So sue me - I am thorough!

Today I picked up a couple of final gifts at Pacific Mall. If you live anywhere near Toronto and you haven't been to Pacific Mall, GO! It's the most fun mall ever. It's an all-Asian mall, and it offers dozens of tiny stores, maybe 15 feet squared each. There are no chain stores whatsoever, not even in the food court. And the whole place is filled with amazing bargains and curiosities.

If you're feeling brave, eat in the food court. Depending on where you order from, you may find yourself pointing at menu photos and holding up a number of fingers to get your point across. Ken and I have a favourite dish (some kind of savoury fried rice gluten squares), and we have never learned the name of it. Our receipt is printed in Chinese characters. Mmmm.... rice gluten. I bet you're all jealous.

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