I’m not a big shopper, in fact I hate shopping most of the time. When the Boss suggests a trip to the mall, it is only to preserve marital harmony that I agree to accompany her. The Boss knows this and usually sweetens the deal with the promise of a nice meal and my friend Tommy then overrules any reluctance I have to join her.
However one place I do enjoy shopping is in Bangkok, mainly because they have such fancy malls.
One of my favorites is Terminal 21, located on the corner of Sukhumvit Soi 21. What appeals to me is not so much the shopping inside, rather the concept that the mall is based on. The ground floor is airport themed complete with the information staff dressed in pseudo flight attendant uniforms, and the maintenance staff looking like they have just come from refueling an Airbus in their bright orange Hi-Vis overalls.
The London floor has a double decker bus, red phone boxes, staff dressed like Buckingham Palace Guards, and the aisles between the shops are named after streets in London. There is an Istanbul floor, a Paris floor and right at the top, the food court is modeled after Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, complete with the Golden Gate Bridge, seals, and even man- hole covers in the floor inscribed with “City of San Francisco”
I have visited the toilets on every floor, in the interests of architectural research of course, to see how far the designers have extended the theme and I am pleased to say they did not stint on these often neglected areas.
The Tokyo floor toilets are entered via a little Japanese garden with stone flooring and the plumbing is via bamboo pipes! The London toilet is modeled after a London Tube station complete with a train!
However the best thing about the toilets is the high tech commodes. One enters the cubicle and sits down on the invariably pristine toilet seat (Thai Shopping mall toilets have to be the cleanest public toilets in the world!).
To your right is a control panel by which you can heat up the toilet seat to your desired temperature – it can get pretty toasty so be careful. If you can smell bacon burning it’s probably a good idea to turn it down. After completing the task for which you entered, you can press another button to heat up the water which is then sprayed on the required areas. Having a jet of cold water fired up the back door isn’t pleasant at the best of times so I was very grateful for this function.
Suitably cleansed one then presses the final button and a draught of warm air wafts gently back and forth across your buttocks ensuring it is safe to re-dress and venture back out into the mall. Practically hands-free!
If only I could fit one of these at home!