There are two well known outlet malls in silicon valley: Gilroy, which is a couple hours south of us, and the Great Mall, which is about twenty minutes away. The main differences are in the layouts. Gilroy is like several plazas that have decided to share a plot of land, each containing a half to a whole dozen stores. The Great Mall however, is just that: one gigantic mall, with numerous long spindly legs, sprawled over an asphalt city block (or two), with parking all around the circumference.
The shops are similar to those is ‘regular’ malls, and are mainly geared to the youth market. There were a few exceptions, and those were the ones that WE were aiming for. Glenn was targeting Eddie Bauer, hoping to find some of the pants that he much prefers for business travel to China. The fabric that he finds works best for him is a nylon/polyester blend that doesn’t require him to wear a belt. Multiple stages of security screening at both airports as well as the factory site that he is there to visit make a belt an unnecessary encumbrance. Luck was with him, and he found two pair of these pants. Perhaps if they were made in more than just beige and grey, he could have found more, but that isn’t the case. While he was in the change room, I found myself a cardigan in a juicy raspberry shade. Since everything in the store was 40% off this weekend, it decided to come home with me.
Being a long weekend, it was INSANELY busy today. It took a good twenty minutes to find parking! Once we entered the mall, we felt like we were walking into a wall of whirling, swirling humanity: little kids dashing back and forth, teens walking aimlessly, and adults frantically trying to keep tabs on their offspring. Meanwhile, loud rock music throbs from several storefronts, each seeming out deafen the other. Whether subconsciously or not, pedestrians sometimes step in time with audible music, so the choreography of the crowd was unintentionally humorous. One group keeps time with the soundtrack from Forever 21, while the troupe down the mall is stepping to the tunes coming from The Gap.
We couldn’t get out of there fast enough.