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You know when you’ve been Tanger’d

What to do when you have your first weekend totally free in just over six months? Spend a whole day of it shopping, that’s what!

Welcome to the Tanger Outlet Center, in North Charleston where high street stores are selling their wares at ‘outlet’ prices. Whatever that means.

Now considering that I thought that Americans do malls like no other country, it’s quite a surprise to find that it’s not as gigantic as you think it’s going to be, in fact it’s ‘just’ two blocks by two blocks big, with lots of big retail names selling their wares at supposedly slightly cheaper prices.

But my mind wandered back to Bluewater back home, and I found myself drawing comparisons.

There is some cheesy tannoy[1] music being pumped continually around as you walk up and down. ‘Outlet FM’ probably – also known as WRKQV103 or some other obvious acronym – pumps out the hits. And by ‘hits’ I mean a selection including Glenn Medieros “Nothing’s gonna change my love for you”, Mister Mister “Broken Wings” and Wyclef Jeans “Gone ’til November”. Eclectic!

I hunt down the toilets early on, and there’s a big information board on the way to them. A cheesy grinning picture of some middle aged bloke in a suit with comb-over balding head hair stares out at you, a speech bubble protracting from his mouth, and some text that reads:

1. At Tanger Outlet Centers, the customer is ALWAYS right!
2. In the event of any problems, see point one!

Good god. Signs like that really exists then.

More signs around the place. In the Military? Show us your ID and get a 10% discount. Over 85? Get a further 1% discount. I wonder if anyone has ever served long enough to get the two together for an 11% discount.

Actually, the military thing is big. Mainly due to the fact that the airport and airbase is less then half a mile away to the north – and what compounds it is that every ten minutes or so I look up each when I hear the noise of what looks like an F/A-18 hornet flying overhead and coming into land. It’s a little surreal. I feel like Tom Cruise in Top Gun, at that moment when he’s parked up by the airbase watching planes come in. Except that I’ve just bought a $20 sweater in Eddie Bauer, so it’s not really the same, and certainly wouldn’t happen in Dartford.

I text Leigh to see where she is, and we meet up by the entrance/exit to head back to the car. Her shopping bags outnumber mine by a ratio that would be too easy to make a sarcastic remark about. So I don’t say anything. Instead, I chuck a few cents into the fountain and we head off to grab some early dinner. It’s nice. I could get used to Saturday’s like this – just don’t tell anyone.

[1] Loudspeaker system.

11 responses to “You know when you’ve been Tanger’d”

  1. geofftech says:

    Tango is not just a dance by the way – it’s also a drink back in the UK, who once had the marketing catch-phrase: “You know when you’ve been Tangoed”

  2. Kristy says:

    You are a much better man than my boyfriend will ever be. Not only does he refuse to go to Tanger with me anymore, but he also tries as hard as he can to tell me I’m not allowed to go either because I end up doing more damage in Coach than any sane person should and he just can’t reconcile someone spending that kind of money on purses. I’m a woman, it’s in my blood.

    If you ever go back, try Sbarro’s in the food court. They have awesome baked ziti!

  3. Mikey says:

    8am, the Gif hurts my head.

    They had to take those Tango adverts off the TV after some kid had his ear drum perforated by someone slapping him.

  4. Paul Leonard says:

    I remember slapping my brother’s ears … he was a litte ticked off to say the least! LOL!

  5. Paul Leonard says:

    Oh forgot to mention, like the animated GIF. Very retro in the days of Flash nowadays

  6. jj says:

    “tango” is also military slang for a target, specifically a human being…

  7. Geoff's Mum says:

    Oh you’re such a ‘new man’ Geoff, you weren’t so keen on shops years ago when I made you come to Tesco’s to help carry the weekly groceries when you were about 13yrs. You didn’t think it ‘cool’ to be seen pushing a trolley round.
    Bluewater is not really an ‘outlet’ as they sell full-price products, you would need to go to McArthur Glen, at Ashford
    or the one at Newcastle,(which is convenient for the Ferry Terminal,) and you get lots of Norwegian people coming over for the day with empty suitcases and filling them to the brim with goodies from Primark etc. for back home, as stuff is horrendously expensive over there. It was quite bizarre!

  8. kwad says:

    Except that I’ve just bought a $20 sweater, geoff are you losing your Englishman in Charleston?

    I thought it was good ole jumper.

  9. Tina (G's Mum) says:

    I don’t think Bluewater would want to be described as an ‘outlet’, That indicates goods being sold at lower prices than regular. You would need to go to McArthur Glen or similar, like they have in Ashford Kent, and at Newcastle Docks. Norwegian shoppers come over for the day on the ferry and buy loads of cheap stuff to sell back home, as over there stuff is seriously expensive! I know, cos I was there.

  10. The Fly says:

    Just thought I’d let you know Geoff, you’re name and Neils were mentioned in the Daily Mail weekend magazine:

  11. The Fly says:

    Bloody hell what’s up with me not reading my own comment before posting. *your

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