Sunday, November 19

Let's Play a Game!

Hey boys and girls, want to play a game??
It’s called the Compare Game!

The rules are simple: we will take the nicest mall in the NY-NJ state area and the nicest mall in ohhhh, say London and compare them.
Sounds fun, right?

Let’s get started then!!!

Because London is about 50 years behind the US when it comes to retailing, we won’t choose the lovely Short Hills mall to go up against London’s finest, which is Brent Cross. Instead we will go a few notches down (for fairness sake) and compare Brent Cross to the Garden State Plaza mall.

Point One: FROM FAR

From far, the Garden State Plaza, looks like an oasis, a Valhalla of pretty windows and enticing mannequins, beckoning one inside.

From far, Brent Cross looks like a manufacturing plant for something mundane, like … rivets.

Point Two: INSIDE

Once you go into the Garden State Plaza, the streams of sunlight and assorted potted plants make you feel like you are frolicking in a rainforest. The air is perfumed and you feel invigorated, ready to shop.

As soon as you go inside Brent Cross, you start to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. The lack of natural light gives you the impression of being in Gotham City, a cave or a crate in your basement. You are immediately bombarded with the sensation of an overflow of CO2 and lack of O2. I have always suspected Brent Cross of hiring people to suck out the air with straws, because I can’t imagine how else you could recreate the feeling of a pressurised cabin in such a large space. You feel depleted and decrepit, and hope you can leave soon.

Point Three: STAFF

In the Garden State Plaza, all sales assistants look like Malibu Barbie, healthy, with the sparkling white teeth of a Colgate advertisement and hair like the Breck girls of yore. They are as enthusiastic as cheerleaders and they don’t walk, they bounce. They fuss over you and tell you that they love what you are wearing, you have such pretty eyes, and they ask you where you got your shoes.

In Brent Cross, the staff resemble the sketchings of the British during the Great Plague. They look severely anaemic and have teeth that look like they’ve been braided. They will tell you that you have to wait to be served, even it the person they’re busy with has been trying on blushers for the past 40 minutes. They are lethargic and depressed and they don’t even care if you buy anything or not, because the world is ending anyway.


Most of the people in the Garden State Plaza are young mothers and Ladies Who Lunch. They all look great from their expertly done hair til their manicured fingernails. They look like they are clearly enjoying themselves and there are barely any male shoppers to be seen.

The irony of Brent Cross, is that it caters for people who do not look like they can afford tissues, let alone luxury items. They look downtrodden and there are loads of men milling about. These men are either on the dole, shopping on the taxpayer’s expense or construction workers who refuse to finish their already started projects, leaving people with no roof until they feel like finishing. Later, they will go down to the pub and complain about how crowded Brent Cross is.

Point Five: SHOPPING:

In the Garden State Plaza, everything is lit with an almost serene, spiritual white light. Everything screams, “Buy me!” and when you do purchase these items, you feel warm and cosseted, almost cherished, as you did in the womb. You end up buying things that you will never use, but every time you spy your onion flower maker or your watermelon shaped handbag or your skirt with Marilyn Monroe’s lips all over it, you feel great all over again.

In Brent Cross, everything feels drab and dreary, which in turn makes you tired and weary. This is so much so, that even if you are standing in front of the object you came to Brent Cross to buy, you WILL NOT purchase it. What’s the use? The world’s gonna end anyway.


After you come home from the Garden State Plaza, laden with packages, you don’t even notice the welts from where the bags cut into your wrists because you are still on a retail high!!! As you excitedly unpack your new goods, you relive your time in paradise and you feel youthful and great.
Verdict: Like spending a day in a spa.

After you come home from Brent Cross, you feel severely dehydrated and jet lagged and you know that it will take you 48 hours to recover. Your skin has aged 5 years, but you don’t worry because you know it’s only temporary. You feel sick and take to your bed, knowing that you didn’t even get what you supposed to, meaning that another trip is necessary.
Verdict: Like sticking your head in an oven.

So, how do they rate up?
Hmmm, let’s see…
Garden State Plaza: 6/6
Brent Cross: 0/6

Well, that was fun wasn’t it???
Maybe next time, we’ll compare governments!

Until next time….
Happy Chanukah shopping wherever you are!

This is Kasamba signing off!
Cue theme tune; la, la, la, la, deed a, dum de, la, la la, laaa


At 12:51 AM, Blogger the only way i know said...

Will comment tomorrow!
but couldnt not share my devlish joy in reading your post!!!

At 2:20 AM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

LOL...A post after my own heart.

And this is why I shop on line, and buy mainly from Israel, which, if the truth be known, can be a 'true slep' and a great reward at the same time.

At 4:43 AM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Very funny! What exactly did you mean by signing off, you didn't mean that this is your last post right!!!

At 6:03 AM, Blogger Sara with NO H said...

ugh barbara, israel takes forever to ship products. I refuse to buy from there unless I'm there visiting.

Kasmaba, you're the best lol. I have yet to read a post from you that didn't make me smile and leave blogworld in a great mood. I have to make a note to self to read your posts again first thing in the morning. Kudos!

At 6:29 AM, Blogger Bonnie B said...

Makes me want to shop-- and drink because the world is going to end anyway so what's the use, pass the chocolate

At 8:04 AM, Blogger Mia said...

I don´t know any of the malls described.... but the London mall sounds very much like many malls in Europe (unfortunately)! I suggest you make your shopping online like me :D

At 9:01 AM, Blogger tafka PP said...

Girl, you're shopping in the wrong British city!

And believe me, if you pitch Brent Cross against the Malha Mall you'll start to see it in a whole new light...

At 10:18 AM, Blogger The Next Contender said...

3 things:

1) The best mall on this side of the pond is BLUEWATER not Brent Cross as stated!

2) The way you described shopping in Brent Cross, that's what shoppingis like for me ANYWHERE. I hate shopping (unless it's shoe shopping because that is an entirely different story...!)

3) That was absaloutly hilarious!

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

guess someone's homesick:)
That was hilarious and although I don't remember brentcross to be that bad (it's been awhile)I almost feel like buying a ticket and fly off to NY!

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Pretty Green Eyes said...

I've shopped in Brent Cross once in my life..I usually stick to the malls closer to me but that was damn funny! :)

At 4:01 PM, Blogger kishmech said...

I hate brent cross. prefer watford.....cheaper and prettier. but prob still won't touch american mall's toes.

At 5:48 PM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Kasamba: You forgot the experience of getting to the mall.

Garden State Plaza Mall: Route 4 and Route 17...a pleasure to drive on.

BrentCross: Roundabout? More like spaghetti junction.

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Shoshana said...

As someone who was at Garden State Plaza just last week, the London Mall must really, really be lacking! Cuz Garden State Plaza is crazy crowded, has very difficult parking and, at least last week, very poor sales staff (one clerk acted like I had asked her for her first child when I asked to be let into a dressing room). I'm so sorry for Londoners! (Though I have to admit I have finally managed to figure out how to get to and from Garden State Plaza - the first four times I went there I got totally lost.)

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Tzvi Meir said...

Had a nice long comment here, of course it got deleted by the stupid sign in with beta blogger thing.
Anyway. another difference you forgot to mention were the sales.

America- You go to any store during sale time and although the prices have hit rock bottom (in the Gap this means a "7" at the end as in 6.97) things are still on hangers in a sort of orderly manner.

Brent Cross- You go into whichever store and the music is so loud and annoying that it's enough to almost push you back out, except you gotta keep chugging because its SALE time.

You continue into the store and on your left hand side there is a huge heap of clothes(?) resembling your bedroom from when you were 15.

Along with 20 other people you fight to get through that pile and pull out that belt which is now only 15 pounds (currency not the weight) reduced from 20. You then sit there for ten minutes debating whether or not you need it considering that in dollars it's nearly 30 bucks and thats a LOT for a belt from River Island(is that what its called?). From a belt from anywhere. You decide it's not worth it and throw it back in the pile annoyed with yourself for wasting your time and your husbands and leaving with huge headaches. Oh and the screaming baby. He has had enough of this by now.

Then again, we don't even bother going to the mall in Israel. Too expensive and a waaaay bigger headache.Although you CAN get better sandwiches than DD's ;)

At 7:53 PM, Blogger Lvnsm27 said...


At 8:01 PM, Blogger the only way i know said...

kollel mama
about beta blogger
what you do if you've written a comment but have forgotten to sign in first is....
you cut or copy the comment
sign in
and then paste or copy
and then you just login and publish
no need to lose it

At 9:46 PM, Blogger Nemo said...

Jersey Gardens isn't much nicer than Brent Cross. And hiether is Kings Plaza. Let's be fair Kasamba lady.

At 10:47 PM, Blogger Okee said...

Hey there Kasamba! I'm sorry it's been so long...but your blog is even better than I remember.

Ok, can we all just take a step back and review THE best comment I've ever read. I literally laughed aloud. Aloud. And I'm alone! Which is good, cause if I was, like, in the school library, 850 first years would've shushed me, horrified that I dared interrupt the sanctity of the must old law books room. But, anyway, I'm not in the library right now, and this is the line I LOVE:

"They look severely anaemic and have teeth that look like they’ve been braided."


sorry, I'll control myself:)

At 7:30 AM, Blogger ~ Sarah ~ said...

Well, you are definitely a true shopper! A girl after my own heart ;) You'd love the malls here.

I can't compare the British ones to Garden State but I reckon our shopping centres here are definitely up to par or maybe even better (that's if Garden State Plaza was the one I went to!)

and a lol and a half again of course!


At 4:59 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

is west end an upgrade for you?
now compare Woodbury Commons to anything Londons got
One thing i'm not homesick for is UK shopping (especailly the prices)

At 8:37 PM, Blogger Shopaholic said...

Have you ever been to the Metro Center in Gateshead?!? Is considered the largest mall in Europe (noone has ANY idea what its doing in Gateshead....) Now THAT is one sad looking mall for having the name of "biggest mall in Europe"
btw, I can't belive you never mentioned The Palisades Mall- now thats an awesome mall! Ditto to Woodbury Common, was just there yesterday!

At 11:50 AM, Blogger RR said...

Braided teeth? ROTFLMAO!!!!!

It's true, there ain't nothing like a good American mall. But Israeli malls are better for us Kosher-keepers- it's always nice to be able to sit down in a food court here and eat something. Can't do that in America- or England, AFAIK.

At 10:26 PM, Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Well when I go the mall with my wife..I quickly find the Barnes and Noble and tell my come get me when she's done..
Is there one in Brent Cross?

At 4:04 AM, Blogger workingema said...

There is one mall- and I can't remember it's name- that was really cool and amazing. It's near Manchester, starts with a 'T' OH- maybe it's Trafford? Does that make sense?
Well, it's a stunning mall shaped like ship- huge, with cool stores, but, yup- I gotta admit, the lighting's a bit dim....
You have GOT to try that mall out- it's really cool- even for England!
Otherwise- I agree- ANY American mall is better!:o)

At 6:30 AM, Blogger Scraps said...

Dear G-d,

Thank you for making me not be born in England. Thank you ever, ever so much.

Yours sincerely,
Scraps Patchworkgirl

At 2:58 PM, Blogger kasamba said...


On line is good!


Sara with no H:
Well, you just made MY day!


Online sounds good!

I don’t think I like the sound of Malha Mall!

The Next Contender:
1- I’ll take your word!
2- You hate shopping???
3- Thanks!

I could be!

Pretty green Eyes:
I would too- thanks!

It doesn’t!

You’re right! Another point!

Sorry you had such a bad time there!!!
It’s always been so nice for me!

Kollel Mama:
You just wrote a blog post here!!! And it was sooo true!


At 2:59 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

Hey, Nemo, why are you taking it so personally??? Tell Auntie Kas!

Thanks Sweetie!
That was the best compliment!!!

Oh, I’d love to get the chance!

I just adore Woodbury!

LOL! I just picked one!

True!! Give me food in a mall!

No book stores inside Brent Cross!

I don’t really want to go to Manchester!

You have won the coveted award of Best Comment EVER!!!!

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