The other day T got to experience an overload of all things American. That’s because we went to The Mall. Ah, The Mall. A place I generally avoid except for once in a while if I really need something. It’s funny because as a pre-teen and teenager and even well into my college years and beyond I could spend HOURS walking a mall. No more.
But T needs some stuff for school and doesn’t have the ability to get there just yet so what better way to bond? Before heading out we took the dogs for a walk and talked a little about how American malls are. I told him that the Dutch are generally blown away by Americans’ need to be hyper polite and used my favorite example: how when walking into a store people will ask you how you are. But no one really cares. And his response? “That’s a waste of time,” to which I said, “And that is the perfect Dutch response!”
He needed some jeans and also wanted to check out the Converse (or all stars, or chuck’s, or chuck taylor’s… this is a huge debate in our house – what the hell are they called?). I had mentioned that you can get Converse in pretty much every color at a small shoe store at the mall. Since then he’s been looking forward to it. So we walked around and I pointed out a few shops that are popular with the high school set. We went into Buckle for jeans and were immediately greeted by Kyle who helped us out. T ended up with two stylin’ pair of jeans (sometimes I hate living with teenagers who are so effortlessly cool) that we left behind at the shop because they will be altered and ready next Thursday (T’s mind blown). EVERYONE was friendly asking him where he was from, why he was here, how long he was here… and he ate it all up. He was shocked that I hadn’t exaggerated and maybe had even not made it clear just how freaking friendly shop workers are in America. Capitalism at its best.
After Buckle we looked at shoes and he ended up with a pair like none I’ve ever seen but that are pretty cool. We also checked out the bowties at ExpressMen, school bags at Spencer’s and Hot Topic and a few other things before having a super late lunch at California Pizza Kitchen (more like dinner).
Despite a totally different experience from Dutch shopping T seems to really like and appreciate the friendliness of Americans. And definitely enjoyed his first trip to The Mall.