Day 242: Malls, Shopping and Christmas, Oh My!

Claire and I have escaped relatively unbruised by reverse culture shock. I’ve been having sleeping problems, and Claire is perhaps a little too overeager to talk to shopkeepers or anyone who doesn’t look like me, but other than that the adjustment is going quite well.

My main complaint, aside from my zombie-like sleepless state, is the sense of overstimulation that comes occasionally. Claire and I normally spend hours each day reading books, discussing minutiae or sitting silently somewhere awkward. As a result, constant wireless access, marathons of The Girls Next Door on late-night TV, and cell phones that allow me to talk to everyone I’ve missed whenever I want can feel a bit overwhelming. I find myself removing myself by choice more than I remember so that I don’t have to deal with all this nonsense all the time. I am again in the library, for example; though I will say that distraction of any kind is an excellent thing when deadlines are looming. Hence the blog post.

So I appreciated that my mother gave me a good heads up that we are heading out Christmas shopping tomorrow in a Real Live Mall. Claire and I have not been in a mall since Singapore, where everything is clean and organized and people are polite; in other words, my last mall was not American–mall-esque, per se. My mother gave me advanced warning so I could prepare myself for the race of Very New England Christmas shopping experience we have to do tomorrow.

However, confidence is high that I will not forget how to mooch extra Christmas presents off said parental figure once she is lulled into Christmas excess, and that I will not start haggling with nice salesladies.

But I guess you never know when shopping, do you? Ask Spencer about our violent little shopping trip to Silk St. in Beijing:


trippingonwords said...

Spencer (the guy we went to college with who we ran into on the street in Beijing and is in these vidoes ) just got a B-school interview at Stanford! Congrats!

sarah mac said...

whoa there, crazy sunglasses vendor!

mapwing said...

Just found this little spot on the interweb. Cool stuff...thanks!

Claire and Lara said...

what's an interweb? anyone?

Spencer said...

I think this is a good argument for why shopping online is the way to go! Oh, the fond memories of Beijing ( more fond ones at

G'luck on the shopping in Cali Claire!

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