Good times are back? Packed malls, sold-out eateries the new norm

Crowds flocked to Paradigm Mall for the Anime Fest.

The crowds are back. From congested roads, to malls, hordes of people are out, rushing to make up for lost time.

Many have thrown caution to the wind since Malaysia entered the endemicity stage on April 1. Over the past month, I noticed more and more people at malls and restaurants.

Most of the folks were wearing face masks the correct way, but a higher than usual number was not.

Perhaps they feel ‘safe’ since we are no longer in a ‘pandemic state’. However, these people must realise that the coronavirus still poses a danger.

On Sunday, the home minister, our daughter, three of her friends, and I, were at Paradigm Mall in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, for the Anime Fest.

We were shocked by how crowded it was (main image).

It was the second time we had attended such an event. Although my daughter and her three friends said there were fewer booths and attractions this time, it did not look like it.

The cosplayers were everywhere. Unlike the event in Sungei Wang Plaza in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur in March, the fest was not in one location.

How crowded was it? Well, so crowded that many outlets ran out of food!

After walking around for a couple of hours, we wanted to have a drink, but as we entered an outlet serving Indonesian fare, the waitress quickly came over to us to say: “Sorry, we have no more food left.”

It was 2.07pm.

She led us to a table when we told her that we only wanted to have drinks.

About half-an-hour later, a waiter came over to tell us, a beef dish was ready, before adding: “The chicken is still frozen!”

The waiter, who identified himself as Ahmad, said: “We did not expect such a huge crowd. We have been busy since we opened. Business has been great.”

As we walked around the mall, we noticed that all the food and beverage outlets were brimming with customers.

I eavesdropped on some conversations and heard many complaints from people as their favourite dishes were sold out.

A hypermarket saw its entire stock of mineral water sold out. A convenience store enjoyed roaring business that it had to bring down its shutters inside the mall. But it was still accessible from one of the entrances to the mall.

It was a similar scenario when we headed to KFC later that evening.

The kids wanted to have chicken, and after asking around, we found the store, but the shutters were down.

However, we spied people inside. After walking out, we noticed another entrance. We quickly went in and managed to grab the last nine pieces of chicken, plus drinks, and five small containers of whipped potatoes.

Everything else was sold out! It was 7.15pm.

The staff were apologetic and echoed Ahmad’s words, that they, too, were surprised by the crowd.

“The event is for five days. It was not hectic on Thursday and Friday. Yesterday (Saturday) was a bit busy, but today, as you can see, we are sold out,” said one of the staff.

I am glad the eateries enjoyed good business as many had suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic. Quite a large number of outlets had to close down permanently due to the various lockdowns imposed, starting March 2020.

On Monday, the home minister and I went to get some groceries at Da Men Mall in Subang Jaya, Selangor. After getting our stuff, we stopped to have tea at an outlet there.

After paying, we told the person at the counter that he had better stock up on his products, as there was an anime event scheduled at the mall in July.

He too, had heard about the ‘mayhem’ at Paradigm Mall, and thanked us for the heads-up.

Despite the alarming crowd, we plan to attend the event in July, as it is only a 10-minute drive from home – and we know where to get food if the mall runs out!

My daughter and her friends are already planning what to wear. The home minister is equally excited. The costume she made for our daughter was well-received, and she wants to design a new one.

Anime Fest at Paradigm Mall

SHARP DROP IN NEW CASES

There were 13,982 new Covid-19 cases in the past week, down from 18,136 a week ago. That brought the total to 4,487,482.

However, for the second week running, new infections outnumbered recoveries as 13,456 patients received the all-clear. That means until Friday, 4,422,615 persons were cured of the coronavirus.

Sadly, another 31 deaths brought the total to 35,638.

Meanwhile, the United States surpassed one million Covid-19-related deaths on Tuesday. Until yesterday it had 1,028,741 fatalities and 84,935,262 cases.

Worldwide, there are 6,298,897 deaths and 526,704,913 infections.

DRESS UP, CYCLE AND WIN A PRIZE

If you are free next Friday, sign up for Sepang International Circuit’s ‘Jom Kayuh Raya’ cycling event. Dress up in your best Hari Raya outfit to win some prizes.

SIC Cycling

COFFEE SOAP? YES, THERE IS SUCH A THING

I came across this Reuters story. Fascinating.

I NEED A NEW PILLOW

I have been getting headaches more frequently in the last month. It could be that I have trouble sleeping.

I have been searching for the ‘Goldilocks pillow’ – one that is not too hard, or too soft – but without luck.

I told a friend about my predicament, and he said: “I read somewhere that when you reach a ‘certain’ age, the wrong pillow can be torture.”

Ouch!

CHEESEBURGER CUPS

Fancy a quick and easy, familiar, yet unusual treat? Try this recipe for cheeseburger cups.

FROM BOOK TO SCREEN

Stephen King’s Salem Lot is coming to a cinema near you. It is one of the 10 most anticipated book-to-screen adaptations this year.

Another fan favourite, Roald Dahl’s Matilda, will also be released in cinemas later this year.

SALEM’S LOT

To get you in the mood for the new Salem’s Lot movie, have a listen to Harry Sukman’s theme from the 1979 television mini-series that starred David Soul.

Until next week, stay safe.

https://youtu.be/ba3i8qQydpo

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