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Sunday, April 4, 2010

When in England, Do As the English Do...

When I travel, I love checking out grocery stores, magazines, newspapers, malls, local tv and movie theatres.  Anything that gives a glimpse into the daily life of the locals is fascinating for me.   I love grocery shopping here, especially at Sainsburys and Asda.  On Wednesday, I experienced a British mall and a took a trip to "the cinema." 

My cousin Shireen and I ventured off to Bluewater.  There are a few malls but most shopping takes place in the town centre on the High Street.  You wander in and out of shops braving the elements along the way.  Bluewater is a huge shopping mall in Kent.  Bollywood lovers will remember it from the film Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gam. 

I've always wondered where the British get there fancy party head gear and was so happy to get introduced to the Marks and Spencer Occasionwear line.

And what trip to a foreign land would be complete without a trip to McDonalds?  Check out the McDonalds Playland at Bluewater.

All in all I would say that malls here are pretty much the same as at home except for the fact that there are a few stores here that we really should have at home. I love checking out Monsoon. Their dresses are gorgeous!  One thing I've never seen in a mall at home is teeth whitening on location.  There were about six ladies having their teeth done when I took this pic.

Another store I love over here is Hawkins Bazaar.  It reminds me of the dearly departed It Store with tons of clever novelty items, toys, joke gifts and loot bag fillers. I, of course, zoned in on these right away.  I do own  my very own pack thanks to Tez.

Post Bluewater, I made my way back to Basingstoke where Aneez and I checked out the new movie Kick-Ass.  I loved the fact that you didn't have to line up separately for your tickets and concessions.  You buy your tickets at the same time as your popcorn, which by the way comes in sweet, salty or a mixture of sweet and salty.  You also get assigned seats and can choose where you want to sit based on availability.  Sure beats getting to the theatre early and having to line up to get a good seat.  I'd recommend this movie for the sheer randomness and hilarity of the concept of its superhero Kick-Ass. It also felt somewhat surreal sitting in a theatre in Basingstoke, watching a movie set in New York City which was filmed in my university town of Hamilton and my hometown of Toronto.
Here's a license plate I saw on the way back from Bluewater. Can you guess what I read?

3 comments:

uglygirl said...

i hope you bought that hat and then wore it to McDonald's!

rachel awes said...

how fascinating to hear how people operate differently in other places!...the teeth whitening, the tickets & popcorn at the same time, etc...& i love so much that this matters to you! best beautiful hats crowning the top of your gorgeous head, dear faiza! xox

Faiza said...

@uglygirl - I wish I had thought of that!

@rachel awes - Thank you friend!

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