Chapter 10: Shopping Jungle

It is again Friday off. This is because in HMC Architects, the firm I’m working for, we work 9 h from Monday to Thursday and we do 8 h one Friday and the next one we don’t have to go. It is a really good schedule that allows you to run errands, conciliate with your family, or in my case, just have a long 3 days weekend.

This time I decided to spend with some co-workers, that also have my same schedule, a whole day in the Mall. A day in the Mall is a typical american thing that started in the 50’s when the first of these was built. Before I thought that the idea of this places were to go shopping and back home. Here in US, you can not only go shopping, also grab something with friends, workout in the gym, ice-skate in the ice ring or watch a movie in the cinema. The Mall is not a shopping center, it could be an entire city with its own vibe and style.

My coworkers and I met up at noon for lunch at the Westfield UTC Mall in la Joya. This one is pretty close to our work office where we haven’t been in the last 7 months, we are still working from home. We decided to eat something in a beautiful Italian Restaurant (seating outdoor, for sure) enjoying some good drinks and pizzas. As a normal co-workers reunion, we tried not to talk about work, which we didn’t do very well.

After that we just walk around the Mall or small town  for me (I’m still impressed) and do some shopping. This one is organized in squares with different styles, like Chinese, Mexican, European…

When everyone was done shopping we went to the ice ring and grab a final drink, but not before ice skating, or trying it. That was my second time doing it, and it looks like I still have a lot to improve.

We thought about to end up the day watching a movie. There is a cinema here too. Unluckily it was closed because of the pandemic and the restrictions in San Diego. Regarding this fact, I would like to say that we must be wearing our mask in the whole Mall complex no matters if we were indoor or outdoor.

It was a complete and perfect day, having some fun and spending time with coworkers. Nowadays it is complicated to have these quality times, but that doesn’t mean that it is impossible, you just have to be a bit more creative.

All of these it wouldn’t be possible without the help of Architect-US and their J-1 Visa program which brought me to that amazing place, San Diego.



Alberto Lozano


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