You would think that going to a shopping mall would be about the same no matter where you are in the world. You would think. Let me be the first to tell you that that is NOT the case here in Yanbu at Dana Mall. There are shops a plenty, relatively speaking that is. It’s a one-level mall which in itself is strange. Usually one-level is reserved for strip malls and/or plazas. But walk inside and you will be amazed, and not really in a good way.
Let’s start with the entertainment. There’s a place called HappyLand which is great if you have kids and want to keep them occupied for a while. But why spend money in there when the entire mall is HappyLand? You have kids driving around in little battery operated cars, on roller blades and whatever those skateboard/pogo stick with wheels things are. They zip through people like nothing. And I gotta say, they are dangerous. Walking through the mall is scarier than being on the road, especially after isha prayer and weekends. At least when I’m in a car there’s a buffer between me and the other vehicles on the road. These kids will run you down like a hit and run. So when you see them coming, get out of the way! And quick!
Something else I so love about the mall would be the security guards. Some of them look like they’re about 12 years old. Maybe they are. Hmm. Do their parents know they’re out of the house? Anyway, what do they call themselves doing? Well I guess they do man the doors to keep teen boys out on certain days or at certain times. I don’t really know which of the two it is. I guess no one really cares, including me. But there are a couple who I’m really impressed with. And by impressed I mean not impressed. The only thing they know how to secure is a seat since that’s all I ever see them doing, sitting.
One of the more fun experiences would be the food court. If you recall, I talked about wavering between using Arabic and pretending I don’t understand. Well, it’s funny how I speak English and they speak something that’s supposed to be Arabic. Then there’s the oxymoron question that someone will ask. For example, I asked for soup and the man asked, “One?” I looked around and thought to myself, “Well buddy I don’t see anyone else, so I’m gonna go with, yeah, one.” Did I ask for two? And then you might ask for pizza and they ask if you want Pessi. Which is, Pepsi? Good times.
The last thing I’d like to mention is maneuvering shopping carts. Perhaps some people have mastered the art, but I have not. I don’t know if it’s the wheels or because of the marble floors, but for the life of me I can’t make the cart move straight. I find that I’m putting all my weight on one side trying to get the cart that has a mind of its own to move forward and not to the right or left. I talked about kids on wheels being a danger, but these carts are also a danger. I’m waiting for the day that I crash into someone or someone crashes into me. That oughta be fun. I can just see the headline: “Crazy foreigner attempts to bring a class action lawsuit against Dana Mall for its dangerous carts.” You read it here first, folks.