Monday, May 17, 2004

In quest of an international shopping experience

Last evening I decided to treat myself to an "international shopping experience" and off I went to the Forum Mall with a friend. Even as I was half a kilometre away from the mall I could see the traffic piled up, autos and cars and two wheelers all ighting for their share of the narrow road. After a lot of struggle I made it to the entrance when I was stopped by the security guard and asked to enter from the other. Cursing him I went all the way to the checkpost junction and came in from the other side (The Adugodi/Laskar Hosur Road entrance - Someone tell me what this Laskar is, had never heard of it till Globus started calling it that when it opened a store on this road recently). As I stepped in to the mall from the parking lot I encountered a sea of people. I have never seen so many people under one roof. There must have been more than 10000 people in the mall. This even before the 11-screen multiplex has opened.

After carefully watching out not to step on somebody's feet we made our way to the Landmark bookstore. And the crowds carried in there too. Tens of people crowding around every bookshelf, reading, chatting had me saying "Excuse me" every second minute. After jostling our way through the bustling crowd we managed to make it to the billing counter only to find that each of the 8 billing counters had some 20 people in the queue. Remarked my friend, "Even K.R.Market must be less congested". It looked like all of Bangalore had decided to descend upon this mall at the same time.

Weary, we decided to check out Transit, the multi-cuisine food court. The place was filled to the brim with no seating space in sight. One counter had a brightly lit sign that said "Subway" except there were no sandwiches but only soft drinks on sale. We inched on to the counter selling south-indian fare at a 500% premium. We hastily stepped
back and found ourselves in front of 3 Amigos which vended vegetarian mexican fare. After my lucious experience with a Mexican restaurant in Ahmedabad, we decided to settle on this only to be told that they had run out of Salsa. What's Mexican food without Salsa? Too tired to go hunting again we settled on some kind of mexican roll. Fifteen minutes of hunting for a table and no free on in sight. And to think we were only two people. A family out shopping would have had a nightmare trying to find a place where everyone could eat together. We discovered one empty table that looked like somebody had had an orgy with food on it. After having persuaded a member of the cleaning staff to do the needful, to our dismay we found the mexican roll tasting like masala curry stuffed in a chappati. Cursing our luck we looked for the washroom to be told by an attendant, "We have no washroom, please use tissue paper". So, where's the tissue paper? "We are sorry, we have run out of tissue paper". And thus ended our international shopping experience, with dirty hands! So much for that, give me the Jayanagar 4th Block Shopping Complex anyday!


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