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A Saturday Trip To The Mall; And, Vegemite

Sunday, October 28, 2012
An Australian Christmas. You know you want some.
So yesterday Mrs Speech and I painted the mall red. Well, maybe not red. Well, maybe we didn't paint it. But we definitely went to the mall.

Mrs Speech wanted to mail off some Jesse Tree Ornaments that sold from her shop. And since I'm a Christmas junkie, I wanted to see what the mall was doing for Christmas. Mrs Speech had told me that the decorations were up and that excited me.

Can't wait till Christmas. Only 58 days left, you know.

So, it was a beautiful day - Brisbane has these gorgeous spring days where the sky sings in colours of blue that will blow your mind, and the clouds are lost somewhere. Just blue, everywhere. Amazing. Hot, too. It must have been about 30°/90°-ish, and if you're out there too long you'll get a tan. And, dry. Brisbane's wet humidity yucky summer will come later. Yesterday it was a southern dryness.

Stepping into the mall in Brisbane's warm season is awesome...it's a bipolar temperature experience that shocks your body. From the sweaty bubble of get-me-a-drink-now, you step past the automatic doors and the discomfort slips from you, the airconditioned dryness enveloping and loving you.

Welcome to the mall. Let us make you comfy. Now spend some money!

So it was yesterday.

What is that? Is that Christmas decorations? No, no, NO!
Okay so they have their decorations up. I wasn't really impressed. I think they'll up their game closer to Christmas but for now, some garland with silver stars and baubles, sparsely placed here and there, isn't making me feel holly jolly.

When Christmas gets closer and they really want to milk it, they put up their massive Christmas tree at the top of the mall and their Santa's workshop thing where you can sit on some strange guy's knee and get your picture taken with 'Santa'. I'm gonna write a post soon about how my childhood Father Christmas at the mall experience beats any of the undercooked imitations I've seen since. But suffice to say, it's nice when Garden City puts their tree up. Their Santa thing doesn't do it for me.

Anyway, we took care of mailing off Mrs Speech's packages, then hit the puppy store. There's a petshop which, as a very simple and effective marketing ploy, puts its puppies front and center. People crowd around the window. It's absolutely joyful to watch but also sad: they always look so cooped up, like they just want a new home. I tell Mrs Speech that they'll get sold soon.

After that we had lunch. We somehow got two six inch Subway subs and a cookie (Mrs Speech loves some cookie) for $8.10. I'm not really sure how that happened. I thought it'd be over ten bucks for sure. I don't mind Subway as a healthier option, especially since I could lose some kilos. Ham salad, on white?.........okay!

Following chow, we headed to Big W. Mrs Speech always refers to Big W as Walmart. Probably because of the W. Also, it's a variety store (no supermarket) of the same ilk. Mrs Speech says they're basically the same but I think Big W is a bit nicer.

(Click image to enlarge in-screen.)

1. A Christmas masked ball, or something.

2. A very cupcake-y Christmas.

3. What an emo Christmas tree looks like.

4. No really, I want one for our Christmas tree.

5. That's one less Christmas present I have to think of for Mrs Speech.

They've put a few Halloween icons up in a cursory display - pumpkin, witches hat, spiderwebs I think - but Halloween's not special here in Australia. We don't make much of a thing of it, in fact, it gets less significant each year, which is odd because we're becoming more American, and it's a huge thing in America. If you're American, feel free to comment and let us know your Halloween traditions. I'm curious.

Big W has totally rolled out their Christmas stock though, which is fun. They keep their chocolates up front, a big department of multiple aisles of sugary temptation, and beyond, their Christmas stuff.

I tell you, you haven't experienced Christmas without the purple glittery reindeer (see post linked above), or pink glittery Cinderella shoe or blue glittery ball mask, or evil talking dog (we got one) or black Christmas tree. See left for pictures.

We got some baubles because my baubles were handed down and were bought during the Ford administration I think. When Mrs Speech moved here she didn't have enough space for baubles, so mine are all we have. And they need replacing.

We also got five 7 metre rolls of wrapping paper for $1.50 each which I just thought was filthy.

Y'know something I don't get, is why stores that sell DVDs don't have like, a Christmas section. Wouldn't they sell more if there was a display with all the favourites? White Christmas? A Christmas Carol? Jingle All The Way, even? (But not Bad Santa. Or The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.)

We futilely searched Big W's many movies without finding a Christmas section. I'm in the mood for cheap Christmas movies!

Did you know I could levitate a ball with my thoughts? Didn't know that about me, eh? I'm psycho- um, psycho- errr, I can levitate a ball with my thoughts.
Then came the sports department. They've set up a hoop and backboard and I grabbed a ten dollar basketball and literally worked up a sweat, shooting. Haven't done that in ages. The ball kept ricocheting off of bikes and cardio trainers and Mrs Speech covered her eyes as it looked like I was going to destroy things. We moved on.

Our feet were gettin' sore by this stage so we headed for Coles (supermarket) which is always last before we go home. Mrs Speech picked up some more felt for her ornaments in Riot Art n' Craft, I wandered through JB Hifi as I do, and then, Coles.

They have the same superfluous Halloween display as Big W. Mrs Speech looked covetously at the pumpkins, which I would definitely get her but where in America they're 99c or something, a whole pumpkin here is $14.00.

However, their Halloween display did allow me to channel my inner Cap'n Jack Sparrah!

(Click image to enlarge in-screen.)

1. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

2. Christmas pudding! My favourite.

3. Mince pies: my second favourite.

4. We're gearing up for Christmas. Two months early, sure, but...
To my delight, Coles has their Christmas puddings out. I love Christmas puddings. Mrs Speech tells me that Americans hate Christmas puddings and they're considered evil and don't you dare offer any to Americans because you can get put in JAIL for that!

Maybe they're an English thing. We love 'em. I put custard and warm mine up and oh, yeah.

Our holiday season is going to be interesting this year - we're having Thanksgiving with some other people, some of whom are American, so Mrs Speech only has to make one big meal this year (we are contributing vegetables to Thanksgiving). We were going to just do turkey hindquarters for Christmas but Mrs Speech is now gonna do the whole bird. So that's nice.

That was pretty much our day. We got home, worn but happy, and an hour later a tropical storm hit (not unlike this one).

Welcome to the hot season, Brisbane style.
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