Sunday, January 30, 2011


I got a Swiss Army Knife today. It was listed as an optional item on our Ugandan packing list. My mum and I stood in Target, beleaguered from our trip to the Mall of America, in which we bush-whacked through aggressive groups of mall walkers and ugly clothes.

I should mention here that the Mall of America has a disturbing and uncanny effect on my nervous system and general behavior. When I first arrive, say up until the first thirty minutes, I am wide-eyed and tentative, caught up in the excitement that comes from too many Orange Julius stands, a loudspeaker blaring Lady Gaga, and groups of thirteen year olds on dates. Naturally. Then, upon reaching my threshold of three stores, or thirty minutes, (whichever comes first), I reach a state of "mall-verwhelmed." I can tell the moment I enter this trance-like state, because the world seems to get a lot brighter, I feel faint, and I lose all sense of coordination and motivation. I often forget where I am, what I am doing, or if I like plaid or ruffles better. I run into mannequins and apologize feverishly, I knock over displays, I find myself thinking about tropical fruits instead of what size shirt I should try on. I forget about the human laws of where to walk and when to pass elderly shoppers, and at a certain point, I feel like everyone in the mall is a cold hearted robot. Quite simply, I lose all functionality as both a human adult and a self-respecting shopper. Upon first onset of mall-verwhelmed, I start to form strategy of the quickest way to leave the mall, with the least injury to myself. I forget about all previous objectives and fun, and I sometimes start speaking in tongues.

Anyway. It's unpleasant and definitely an environmentally-caused condition. I was actually ecstatic to go to Target at this point. I was also eager to make up for my erratic and inefficient shopping from before, so I decided to prove myself with the Swiss Army Knife. I decided to pick the Swiss Army Knife with 13 instead of 10 functions, because as I proudly told my mum, "Oh, well, you know, there needs to be a cork-screw," and at the moment, completely unaware of ANY other functions of an army knife besides opening bottles of wine. I mean, what ELSE would I use a knife for? Throwing it at small rodents that will appear in my hut? I don't know. It still is beyond me. But it looks pretty sweet, and I can open a bottle of wine with it.

At some point, there was a point to this blog post, but I completely lost track. It seems like there may be more important things to say than what just happened above.


  1. I love the way you write. For a brief moment I was there in the mall with you. I also dislike malls after my initial euphoria leaves me. I also look at grocery stores as some sort of miracle. I often feel ashamed we have it so easy yet prone to complain when we can't find the organic balsamic vinegar! Keep writing from your heart and best wishes to a great future as a PC volunteer.

  2. MOA gave me my first job. I'm hurt by your tear down of MN's most treasured monument.

  3. you gotta have that wine opener! my students saw my bottle opener on my key chain and immediately knew what it was for...