by Melinda Gallo

Going shopping in a mall

We woke up early before the sun streamed into our hotel window. I jumped up to take a photo of the sun rising, but I was a little late even though I did catch the sun coming up behind the billowy clouds above the ocean. I was happy to finally catch my first sunrise over the ocean. I couldn't wait to get the day started, so we went for a run along the beach. At 7:30 am, it was already warm and humid outside, but we persevered and ran down the coast to the ports. Fortunately the clouds provided us with some shade, but not much.

Living in Florence :: Going shopping in a mall

We hadn't made big plans for the day, but we decided to go to a shopping mall. I enjoy going to malls in the US, not just to buy clothes and shoes, but also as a reminder of my life in the States.

Going to the mall is such commonplace in the US: individuals and families drive their cars to the mall, go shopping, maybe have a bite to eat or drink, and return home. When I was a teenager, I used to go to shop and hang out so for me there is a bit nostalgia when I go to a mall. For Alessandro, it's different in that he is so surprised at how inexpensive things are. Levi's that cost 80 Euros in Florence only cost about 40 dollars in the US.

We picked up a taxi that took us to an indoor mall called Aventura Mall, which was about 12 miles away. We didn't plan on renting a car because I thought everything would be close in proximity, but fortunately there were so many taxis around town that it was easy to get around.

I wasn't used to the air conditioners in the mall and felt cold most of the time. I didn't think to bring a sweater or jacket because of how hot and humid it was outside.

Every time we saw something we liked, we'd calculate the price in Euros and we felt as if we were given some great discount. What surprised me more than the low prices was how many people spoke to me in Spanish. Yesterday when we were in Espaņola Way, I didn't think twice about it, but in the mall, it surprised me. Some people have told me that they thought all Californians speak Spanish, but no one has ever spoke to me in Spanish before. I could understand a little bit, thanks to my Italian, but certainly not enough to hold a conversation with anyone.

We shopped for hours and became quite exhausted from walking around. Outside of the mall, we found a slew of taxis. Fortunately for the trip home, the taxi driver kept the windows opened and turned off the air conditioner. A few times when we were in the mall I had to go outside just to warm up.

We skipped dinner and went straight to sleep after unpacking our purchases. We noticed that it must have rained because the pavement was wet, but we were surprised because it was so sunny when we left.

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