Karen goes to the mall

Sep 23, 2006 • Karen


Okay, so that's a lie. But still. Today was the first time I spent more than $100 in one afternoon. Not counting textbooks. Or plane tickets.

Money is a strange thing. Sometimes (ie when I buy spaghetti for around $1/kilo, or go to Sweden and take advantage of their non-insane exchange rate) I feel like the Grand Duchess of Having Money. Other times (ie today) I feel like I ought to be sleeping in a cardboard box.

I decided to go to the mall today to get a few things that I needed. Also so that I'd get out of the house on such a gorgeous, cloudless day. First I had an adventure where I got off the wrong stop, discovered a walking street I'd never seen before, acquired some clementines for cheap, and found a plaza with an AMAZING view of Frederiksborg Castle across the lake (and a statue of some fat dude, apparently THE Frederik). I wish I hadn't left my camera at home.

Eventually I made it to the mall. I hadn't gotten to really adventure around the place much my last time visiting, so I took my time. I walked by this videogame store with a huge World of Warcraft poster in Danish in the window--and did a double-take:

"I’m nerdy in the extreme
And whiter than sour cream
I was in AV Club and Glee Club and even the Chess Team
Only question I
Ever thought was hard
Was do I like Kirk
Or do I like Picard..."

Yes. Two days before AOL was supposed to debut the music video (cancelled after the video got leaked to Teh Interwebs a week early), four days before the video's supposed to enter friggin' *VH1* circulation, Weird Al's brand new, completely amazing hit (seriously, if you haven't seen the video yet, *do it*) "White and Nerdy" was playing over the loudspeakers in a Hillerød mall.

Globalization is AMAZING.

From there I meandered into a shoe store. You see, I am the most organized packer on Earth. After learning that we would need a nice outfit for holiday dinners and the like, I got this kickass outfit involving a red poncho and black skirt from a thrift store. I brought the outfit, I brought several pairs of pantyhose, I even remembered to pack this pair of dark red earrings that matched well. The only thing I forgot: Formal shoes.

So I was staring at the pairs upon pairs of black leather women's heels on the wall. A few brands had sizes in both the European and American scales, but most were just European. Some didn't have sizes marked at all (so far as I could tell, anyway). I tried one shoe, a nice closed-toe with a less-than-ridiculous heel, the largest of its model. Still too small. And when I looked on the back, I discovered that these things were 700 DKK (around $140). And I'm pretty sure that's among the lowest prices they had.

I fled out of that place and into a kitchen store. While I searched for something recognizable as a can opener, a familiar inane "Boing boing. Woop! Uh-huh" rang out. Yup. It was "Boing" by Nik og Jay, everyone's favorite Danish wigga rappers. I'd heard of the track before after the (not-Danish) blog roundup Boing Boing wrote about it, amused by the (unintentional) inclusion of their name in the song. Funny coincidence.

I then went shopping for pants that don't feel like they're continuously falling off at H&M. Yeah, I cheated and went to the place with American sizes. And is also reliably not-insanely-priced. Found a pair of corduroy-ish pants for about $40--kinda pricey if I were shopping back in the states, but probably the best I'll be able to do here. I saw a zip-up sweatshirt with ridiculous cuffs on the clearance rack, so I got that too.

I think the pants are vaguely brown and the sweatshirt is vaguely black, but they seem to change color all the time depending on what other colors are nearby. Apparently dull, indistinct browns are in this season. I apologize about the MySpace-iness of the pictures; I don't have anything in my room of a proper height to rest the camera on.

My final stop was to Qvickly. I'd never been inside before, but I'd heard it described as a grocery store with lots of other stuff. Well, technically yes...

Qvickly is like the Danish version of Wal-Mart. It's disorientatingly huge and organized in a confusing way, ensuring that you go buy as many potential impulse purchases as possible before you get to what you want (note the *two* separate liquor aisles). There's groceries, to be sure, but not as many as the grocery store down the street from the højskole. (Extensive organic selection, though.) But all the other random crap you might want--soap, clothing, electronics, bicycles, tea candles, camping gear, and LOTS of candy--it's all there. And unlike Wal-Mart, where everything's disgustingly cheap, it's all *overpriced*!

Something about Qvickly just terrifies me. I staggered out with AAA batteries, organic orange juice (they didn't *have* the non-organic kind!), rolls, and a bar of chocolate, the one impulse item I wasn't able to resist. They had tupperware, one of the items I was looking for. But it wasn't the kind I was visualizing getting, it was expensive, and by that point the store had just worn me out. I got a Danish ice from a vendor to cheer myself up, then left for the bus stop.

All in all, my purchases came to 510.25 DKK, or approx. $102. That's my budget for an entire *week's* worth of food/expenses. And while all the stuff I got was more or less justifiable... Oi vey. Hopefully the clementines will last a while...