Monday, September 27, 2010

When in Dubai, do the malls

Since I am all about coherence and sequence, I am going to keep this post about Dubai.

Now, as most people who have lived in Dubai will tell you, we spend a lot of time in Dubai in malls. We shop, we eat, we watch movies, we socialize, we do everything in malls. So, obviously, I have seen a general pattern of mall activities.

And these mall activities have tonnes of benefits. Take a look.

1) Fitness: We walk. In fact, we walk so much, some malls in Dubai have a walking-around-the-mall fitness class. People gather at some 8am in the morning, in their sneakers and walk around the mall briskly. No really. Some of us come out of the mall with well-built calves. Some of us even bunk malls because you know how boring walking can get.

Of course, as with every other activity, mall or otherwise, annoying kids run around. And exasperated mothers run around behind them. Usually, these kids will have some sticky substance (lets not guess here) on their hands and will go around touching all and sundry. The mothers (and maids) chase the very-thrilled kids, muttering apologies to pissed off shop owners and security personnel. The mother/ maid, sweaty and sweary, shoots the kid a you-are-so-fucked look (with the eyes) and tucks the errant poop machine under her arm and carries it to the next shopping destination. Legs. Check. Arms. Check. Frustration. Check. Replay.

Lets not forget the bags. The big ones, small ones, pretty ones, bad ones. All being carried in your arms. Great for toning.

2) Improved geography: Once upon a time, malls in Dubai were small and comfy. You went to one 4 times and then you know which shop was where, next to what and you could plan your shopping route. Now, malls are so big, looking for any shop is a multi-step process. First, you enter the parking lot and look for a parking spot closest to the mall entrance. Then, you look at the level you parked at. Then, you look for the level you are supposed to go to. Then you look for the information counter. Then, you randomly punch at the interactive screen (a sheer waste considering the confused looks on tourists’ faces when they try working one. A well-loved activity at Dubai Mall). Then, you finally find the information counter to be told you will have to go back to where you started from.

After 4 times, you may not know where you fave shop is but you would have discovered how to get there from route 1 with the starbucks, route 2 with the cute guy at the hair salon and route 3 – the not-so-scenic route.

3) Dodging skills: Being social in malls is almost a pre-requisite. Not by choice, but by force. There are lots of people in malls. And you learn to dodge all the elements and go a celebratory dance if you make it to the other side without causing serious injury, physical or mental, to yourself or fellow mallers. On an average, you would have brief encounter with the following: (oh, a list within a list! The horror of it!)
a. At least one shopping trolley: One enthusiastic supermarket shopper will walk across in front of you. Employ multi-defense techniques. First. Stop mid-step to avoid collision. Pull foot back to prevent the trolley from mauling your foot and scream expletives at the shopper. Walk past calmly, taking deep breaths.
b. Babies, again: They will put their sticky hands on your dress. You want? No? Thought as much. For them, kick them hard so they go flying or simply allow then to walk between your legs. Women wearing skirts are advised not to do this. One, because the child might get lost in the fabric. Two, because the dads may tempted to try the same thing.
c. Promotion people: They will hand out useless leaflets, file your nails, prance around in a skirt and some notorious ones will spray you with some nauseating perfume. Avoid like the plague.

4) Mall manners: The stuff you learn about only at malls. Like, you cannot charge into the lift with your trolley till all passengers have disembarked. Or that you cannot be caught dead in something that’s not fashionable. That mere mortals must only hang outside the Louis Vuitton and drool lustily. You may not bargain or haggle, its simply not done. That you must have a systematic queue for the loo. And all that. This one is exhaustive.

Thats all from the mall trawl. Signing off, mall loyalist.

1 comment:

Malesh Ponnusamy said...

i have been mall hopping for the past 48 hours and absolutely agree! By far the best malls in town are Dubai Mall and IBN because they have some differentiation factor from rest of the pack.