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Thursday, February 12, 2004

This morning's breakfast experience was a sanitary towel commercial which informed me that "during your period, sitting for a long time and then suddenly standing can produce surprising leaks and odour". I think that's a case of too much information. I'm never giving up my seat to a lady again. Or if I do, I'll make sure I leave before she gets up. I never did like surprises.

But anyway. The Galleria Mall (which I'm told is pronounced 'gall-a-REE-a maul', but which I insist on prounouncing 'ga-LEER-ia mal' just to annoy people) was indeed a mecca for serious shoppers. Or to be more precise, serious shoppers who go to bed early. They shut at 9pm. Which is a problem when your Big Sis finds herself summoned to unexpected (and pointless) meetings at work and gets home two hours late. In the family of pedestrians, the sister with the Chrysler convertible is king, so I was forced to wait by the door in my coat and stetson until she returned.

But we had an hour at the mall, which proved to be enough time for me to buy a few tacky gifts with which to disappoint loved ones back home, and also a stack of postcards, not all of which are cheap and tasteless. We then bought smoothies, and for the second time this week were faced with the puzzled response of "You want WHAT???" when I insisted on ordering the Strawberry & Banana variety. Texans, it turns out, pronounce Banana as "b'nanna", and when faced with a cultured voice saying "banARna", they panic, assume you don't speak English, and call for back-up.

When the shops closed (apparently within minutes of our arrival), I insisted on having my photo taken in front of the mall Valentine's Day balloon display, for reasons I haven't quite put my finger on yet. But no doubt that will be appearing on my website photos page before the end of the month.

From the mall, we headed for the Outback Steakhouse, where we ate... um... pasta and chicken. We also chatted at length to our 22 year old waitress who, having discovered that we're from England, informed us that she's only been out of Texas three times in her life (and two of those were Florida). I was about to invite her to Shotley Gate, when she mentioned that her boyfriend is a bouncer at the local nightclub. So I hastily changed my mind. But the girl kindly informed us that Dallas is a dump, and that she'd always assumed everything was bigger in England. She also looked a bit lost when we mentioned going to see where JFK was shot. I'm not sure she'd heard of him. But she did tell us that Fort Worth Zoo is twice the size of Dallas Zoo, and that in San Antonio you can poke dolphins. Well ok, she said PET dolphins, but I'm sure if she knew me better she'd have said poke.