"How can I resist you?" ABBA said in their hit Mamma Mia. And in relation to Woden Plaza Shopping Centre, I can DEFINITELY give an answer to their question. "By thinking about how bloody awful you are. By thinking about my most recent Woden experience...."
Downtown Manuka has a distinct lack of Woolworths supermarkets. You see there is a Coles in Manuka, and Coles have really dodgy fresh produce. So I thought, how about I head down to Woden to the Woolworths there? I avoided the Woolworths at Dickson due to numerous horrible Dickson experiences.
The drive to Woden took longer than expected. It's a bloody long way. And Tuggeranong is even further than Woden. Imagine how long it would take to get there! [Left: A young woman stranded in Woden frantically re-enacts the new tATU video. "Help get me out of here!"]
I proceeded to park in the Car Park, indicated by a "P" sign. What a delight, I didn't have to pay! My excitement was soon reduced as I was informed by a woman escaping the Plaza that I should have driven around the other side of the Plaza, and that walking to Woolworths from where I had parked was a "shit way to go."
She was right. I had to cross the [lack of] ACTION bus interchange, where the infamous no. 38 bus starts its run towards Narrabundah College and beyond. I made speed to avoid run-ins with the sorts of people who take buses in Canberra. I reached the entrance of the plaza and was struck by a blast of hot air from one of those awful "air curtain" machines, as though I was literally walking into Southern Canberra Hell. [ABOVE: Irene from Home and Away spotted in Woden Plaza]
I made my way past closed up shops, their barriers down. Distantly I could see "da boiz" in the mobile phone shop having a little after work bonding session, and a lone Flight Centre woman slaving away trying to organise some helpless person's tour around Europe. Finally I reached Woolworths.
The aim of my trip to Woolworths was to buy some salmon. It was on special, you see. The "boy" who was, literally, a boy, came and served me. I said "I'd like a nice piece of salmon." He said "which one?" I said "you pick one, you're the expert." He said "I don't eat fish." [ABOVE: Customers at JB Hi-Fi Woden inspect the selection of car stereos on offer]
Grrrr. I hate these situations. He works serving fish all day and he doesn't eat fish. He said it was because he went to boarding school. Tough titties, or floppy fish, I don't care. It's like going to a bottle shop and the silly chick there doesn't drink wine. Fuck off!
I picked my own piece. My next move was to try to find a catalogue, as you do, to pick up anything else that was on special. Bad move. There was not a catalogue to be found in the store. I asked the chirpy Asian girl at the cigarette counter, who then put an older bloke and a bosomous short woman on to the case of finding me a catalogue. Ten minutes later, a lone catalogue was found from that infamous place, "out the back."
I proceeded to buy some pasta sauce. Done! Next, some mince to go with the pasta sauce. It was on special too :) But no, it wasn't to be. The premium beef mince that I wanted was not present in the fridge. I enquired. Tough titties again they said! Missing mince more like it! [ABOVE: Stunning selection of music on offer in Woden]
I was fuming. I stormed out of Woden Plaza, fearing that they may have locked me in. I'll be darned it, they had. I went out the "Emergency Exit Only" door. It was an emergency. I had to get out of that granite-floored, donut-king, K-Mart clothing smelling megalith. I zoomed out of the car-park towards my lakeside sanctuary, swearing never to return. My choice of car music was appropriate, Alizee's J'en ai marre.