Sunday, July 29, 2007
You Can't Be Good at Everything You Try
Hypnotized by the lights and escalating murmurs of the crowd, I gazed up at the six levels of mall towering above me. I was sitting in the basement level of CityStars, the swanky shopping mall out on the border of Nasr City and Heliopolis. I'd grabbed a lift in a taxi with three guys from work, en route to their Maya 3D class. I gawked up at this mall, surely the equivalent of even the largest malls in Dubai.
I had come shopping to buy some clothes. I looked in dozens of stores and found nothing. What I did find—besides banks of escalators, what seemed to be thousands of Cairenes and visiting Saudis, the obligatory glass elevators, and the Fuddrucker's burger I was guiltily snacking on—was Guess, Aldo, Accessorize, Benetton, Mango, Levi's, Calvin Klein, and Esprit. Same crap, different country.
You'd think in a mall this big and excessive, I'm be able to find something worth buying.
Instead, I learned that Cairo Fuddrucker's is better than Kuwait Fuddrucker's, but not as good as the US parent. And that the Kuwait Starbucks franchise has expanded from their original City Center Cairo location into CityStars Cairo.
The fire alarm bell jolted me out of fast food critic mode. Startled, I looked around the food court. Would there be mass panic?
No. Cairenes did exactly what New Yorkers do when the fire alarm goes off.
Nothing. Just keep shopping.
I picked up two T-shirts on sale and skulked home, shamed again by my ineptitude as a clothing shopper.