I'm very sorry to disappoint all my loyal readers, but I do feel that I have to tell you I've never been mauled by a bear. Seen lots of bears, but never been mauled by one, so perhaps the title is a little misleading.
However, I have been mauled... By the biggest Mall in the Southern Hemisphere! Ah, yes: Westfield Marion Shopping Centre. We'll just shorten that to The Mall.
Story time with unkie dave is actually going to be about The Mall. Don't worry though, I'll be getting back to my rough, tough childhood in the woods, never fear. This is more about my rough, tough Mall adventures down under. This could get long, as I don't have an outline to work from... I'm not a writer!
The Mall will safely hold over 200,000 people before the fire code folks even start to think it might be a bit crowded. That means the ENTIRE POPULATION OF LOS ANCHORAGE WOULD FIT INTO THIS MALL. Did I mention it's the biggest mall in the Southern Hemisphere? Oh, wait, yes I did, sorry.
The place is HUGE! And noisy! And HUGE! And busy! And HUGE! Did I mention it's the biggest mall in the southern hemisphere? Ok, that's getting old so I'll stop that now.
You can buy anything you want there... ANYTHING! Hell, I even bought ole Rocket Butt there (stay tuned for a future post, ain't spillin' the beans today). You can have oral surgery done there. You can buy a guitar there. ALL banks have a branch there. You can buy naughty underwear there. You can buy a car there. There are 3 bike shops there. You can get really overpriced coffee there. You can eat any ethnic food you can think of there. You can book a cruise to Antarctica there. You can get your car fixed. You can see a lawyer. You can see any movie you'd like. You can buy enough timber to build a house. Ok, I'll stop now.
When I first moved here, we lived in a house one street back from The Mall. It was very handy. Never drove anywhere... you just walked across the street for whatever you wanted.
Now that we've been out in the hills and woods for a while, I've noticed a few things about The Mall. Shall I tell you what they are? Of course I shall:
1) It's noisy
2) It's loud
3) It stinks
4) It's really noisy
5) It's really loud
6) It really stinks
That's just what you notice trying to find parking...
Walking to an entrance is like taking your life in your hands, and once you get inside it's even worse! Good luck when it's crowded! Gaaack, I've never seen so many inconsiderate b*stards before. If you are carrying a box under your arm, I can guarantee that it'll be knocked out by a passerby within 30 secs. Jerks. Getting a shopping cart through is LOADS of fun. I've often thought of putting on dark glasses and walking through The Mall with a white cane. I'd have a friend with me to "guide" me just to give the Maulers a chance to be nice. I'm POSITIVE that the cane would be stepped on and I'd be knocked around every ten seconds.
This past holiday season, The Mall was open all night on christmas eve. I did not go anywhere near it. I was asleep like any sane person would be. I do have a story from a lady I know who works in one of the shops there. She works at the ink cartridge place where we buy ink tanks and laser toner from and she related this to us the week after x-mas.
All stores were open till 200 am, and many of the large ones till 500 am (imagine that, working/shopping till 500 am christmas morning). She closed of the cartridge shop at 200 am and walked 50 yards to a place to get a new telly on sale. She then bought the telly, loaded it into a shopping cart and went through The Mall as she was parked at the far end. SHE DIDN'T GET OUT OF THE MALL TILL 500 AM!!!!
Let me recap: Off work at 200 am. 50 yds to store. Buy telly. Check out. Walk through The Mall with telly in a shopping cart. Exit The Mall at 500 am. THIS IS JUST TOO FUCKING WRONG! She said it took almost 90 minutes from leaving the store with the telly to the far end of The Mall... That also means the other 90 mins to walk 50 yards, pick out a telly, and pay for said telly.
Gee folks: do you think The Mall was just a wee bit overcrowded? I've actually been in there when there were 150,000 people in it and it wasn't anywhere close to that bad. There must have been over 300,000 people there... 1/3 the population of Adelaide was in the damn mall at 200 am of christmas morning!!!!!
You shopaholics would've LOVED it!
I promise that next post will be more ramblings of my youth, should be fun. Oh, and someday I'll tell you the Rocket Butt story...
In the meantime: FOOD!
This'll be one for you vegetabletarians: Cream Of Mushroom Soup.
This'll make up enough soup for four hungry adults to have for dinner, and you'll even have a bowl left over (maybe).
I hope you don't get tired of soups from me; they are easy, they are quick, and they are very healthy (at least mine are).
What you need:
One can of campbells cream of mushroom soup
one can opener
one cup of milk
JUST KIDDING!!!! It's been yonks since I've had soup out of a can.
What you need:
1 kilo (two pounds) of fresh, raw, button mushrooms
one small onion, finely minced
dash of lime juice
1 tsp dried tarragon
ground white pepper
a few cups of milk
freshy shredded parmesan (not the stuff that comes in a green canister)
fresh basil leaves
What you do:
Rinse the shrooms and chop em in half (doesn't have to be neatly done). Toss shrooms and onions in a wok with a tbsp or two or olive oil, sprinkle on the dried tarragon and the lime juice. Cook quickly over high heat for 3-5 minutes, tossing/stirring regularly. Set aside and let cool for a few mins.
Add some of the cooked shrooms/onions and some milk to a blender, blend till smooth. You'll probably end up with two blender-fulls. Pour it all into a thick-bottomed pot and simmer for 10-20 mins. Add more milk if you'd like. Stir regularly.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
For serving: ladle soup into a bowl, and then sprinkle with fresh parmesan and a couple of chopped fresh basil leaves. Serve with piping hot fresh bread.