A Garden at the Rooftop

Whenever one mentions of a city, the first picture that comes to mind are rows and rows of office blocks and shopping malls, one next to the other, all high and tall and made of concrete adorned with reflective glasses at every floor and at every angle. 

And as we pound the pavement making our way from one to the other, we make mental notes to seriously look for the proper and right footwear to alleviate the punishment that our feet and our legs take whenever we make our way in between these blocks, day in and day out.

A mosaic of the garden at the rooftop, creating an ambience for relaxation, relieve stress and dining. (@ all rights reserved)
A mosaic of the garden at the rooftop, creating an ambience for relaxation, relieve stress and dining. (@ all rights reserved)

And as always, a mental note is a mental note until replaced by something else that warrants our immediate attention. And so, another mental post-it gets pinned to that imaginary reminder board in our mind and remained pinned, as it were.

I have to be honest. It’s not really my ‘thing’ to pound the pavements and make my way to one office block to another unless I really have to. If I have to, I’d go in, get my business done and once done, out the glass revolving (or sliding) doors as soon as possible. All in, I’m out of the building within 15-20 minutes after my appointment’s done.

But if there is a Starbucks or a San Fransisco or a Coffee Bean (or is it CBTL nowadays?) , then I would most likely make a pit stop, order a ice-blended caffe mocha and rest my tired legs (they get tired faster as you get older!) before making my way out that glass revolving door. Or sliding door for that matter.

That said, it’s also not my ‘thing’ to wander through the malls, checking out every single outlet and basically do what everybody calls ‘window shop’. Normal practice would dictate that I step in, get my ‘thing’ done and be gone ASAP. Unless the budget allows for a pit stop. Then I am game.

With most malls, I do find it difficult to understand those people who would drop in a mall, either alone or with a group of friends, and spend the whole day in the mall, for one reason or another. Just what is so fascinating in a mall that can tempt a person to stay the whole day in the mall? Creatures of habit? Maybe. Otherwise, I just can’t get it.

Maybe those people who create and build and operate malls should look at aspects of what makes a mall more appealing to people, besides the number of outlets (fixed or moveable) that the mall can have and the amount of rental that the mall can generate etc etc etc.

I was in a mall in Johor Bahru recently, and contrary to what some people might think, we do have several good malls in JB. Maybe they are not in the Super League of Malls but then again, we don’t live for our malls. Or do we?

Anyway, the mall had undergone some extensive refurbishment works recently and since then, each time I entered the mall, I must admit that the mall does look and feel better.

Garden at the roof top. No fishing allowed though! (@ all rights reserved)
Garden at the roof top. No fishing allowed though! (@ all rights reserved)

But the one that, for me at least, which took the cake, must be the way they had totally revamped the food court located at the very top of the 6-storey mall (I think, and that does not include parking!). Well, not the food court per se, which was nicely done, but the open air dining area especially.

I was fortunate enough to experience having a meal at the open air deck, accompanied by a slight cool breeze bringing down the warm evening temperatures down a notch or two as well as the sounds of running water and the coolness that only flowing water can bring about.

The idea of a garden cum food court at the rooftop where shoppers can go and have a drink or a meal, relax and unwind is a good idea and one that other malls should adopt or/and improve upon. For shoppers, the ambience alone is good enough to ensure a return to the mall, even if it’s just for a nice tall cool fruit juice drink.

A garden in the city, but with a twist. It’s at the top of the building rather than at ground level. No hint of the ongoing traffic, no hint of the street level noise. Just you, your drink, and your meal.

Not a bad proposition, is it?