This post probably won't be too exciting for the American readers, but for any of you who currently live in South Asia, or who have lived or traveled through here, I think you'll be shocked! Well if you're anything like husband and me, that is.
Down the road from the hospital we'll be delivering baby at is a new mall. They've been working on it for well over a year now, probably two. I'm not sure. Malls here are nice enough - several levels, plenty of shops and places to eat, temperature controlled. So it's not like we ever complained before. But this new mall - oh my! I feel like such a teenager getting excited over a mall. It's sprawling - it seems to go on forever. It's modern - both the shops and the shoppers. And it's got variety, both in cuisine and shopping choices.
There's a big book store, a big baby store, a Clinique, a L'Occitane, a Body Shop, an Etam, a Nine West, and many, many name brand apparel shops that no one can afford. There are home shops, too, one that can only be described as a department store. They have several coffee shops and they're even opening a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf!! You know how we see those incredibly expensive stores around town and wonder who has the money to pay for those things? Well, those people are walking through this mall. It's like a fashion parade. I even saw several pregnant ladies showing off their swollen bellies, and believe me, that says a lot about how modern the clientele is.
The food court is really nice, tasty, and cheap! There are plenty of South Asian choices (Northern, Southern, and street food!), but there's also a grilled sandwich place, Mexican, pasta, soup and salad, pizza, and Chinese. And there's a gelato guy who will soon also serve those gelato stone ice creams. There's also a fancy restaurant there, and some other places opening shortly. And the patio seating is really nice. (Or it will be once all the mosquitoes are dead.) They even have a couple of those tent-rooms set up with couches and tables.
Like I said, only those of you who know what the rest of the Capital's shopping choices are like will be impressed by this. It doesn't help that the pictures don't do it justice - either the mall is very unphotogenic, or I'm a bad photographer. I'm betting on the latter.