Once in a while an expat just needs a slice of “America.” The best place to get it? The mall! Now, of course, malls are not just an American thing but all the familiar stores (from companies that may or may not be American) make me think of North America in general where there is sure to be a mall in almost every town. Anyway, for the benefit of anyone reading this blog who may come to Delhi and be interested, this post is my take on the local malls.
The mall I visited was in the Saket area. This area has three malls that I went to. I went to all in one day as all are actually connected to one another. The one in the “middle” and largest is called Select Citywalk. It has a heap of the usual stores you find in malls all over the world and the usual entertainment like a movie theatre and all that. The stores are expensive by local standards and prices are the same or more than you would find back home. There may be sales but I did not really see any. A few Indian retailers are in the mix as well and are more affordable. My husband bought a few t-shirts from a store called Pantaloons which had good deals.
In this mall, I just had to buy an original glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut as it has been FOREVER since the last one. It was delicious (71 rupees for one was the cost). ATMS can be found everywhere. I prefer using CitiBank ones as another one I tried would not accept my card. Citibank would not accept my husband’s card so you just have to try and find the right one for you. There are lots of food options as well in the mall.
Anyway, if you go to the Croma electronics store you can make your way into the Metropolitan mall. This mall, at least when I went, was half dead. Most of the stores have closed down and moved elsewhere (or maybe yet to open…but it looked like they went out of business or relocated elsewhere). There were quite a few liquor stores on the bottom floor which was a bit strange (but if I was not pregnant I totally would have gone in and looked for some nice pinot and some vodka for my husband!). Somewhere in this mall is the Ice Lounge which I would have loved to check out but the dead environment had me running back to Select Citywalk pretty quick. However, if someone wants to take an indoor walk in the air conditioning on a 45 degree day, this may be a good place to get in those steps! No one will bother you 🙂
The last mall, also attached, is the DLF mall. Not sure the usual route to get there but I had to go out a door on the second floor of the Citywalk mall and there was sort of a balcony that went around the building that led to a door that was the entrance of this mall. As usual in India, there is security and a bag check that you must go through. This mall is a bit smaller but also pretty good. Again, it has all the usual stuff and a movie theatre as well. I went to the food court at this one and you have to buy a points card if you want to purchase any food. I am not sure the point of this but it seems many malls do this. The annoying thing is that some of the restaurants do not take the card so it is likely you bought the card for no reason. I think it is refundable though.
Anyway, the food court was packed here and the cleaners cannot keep up with keeping the tables clean so it is a bit annoying to have to find a place to sit. Even if you manage to find a clean place it seems there are receipts and salt packages and other refuse all over the ground as the cleaners do not have time to sweep up and people are careless. In India you are not expected to pick up after yourself at such places so there is always a giant mess everywhere.
Anyway, summer is a great time to go to a mall in Delhi to beat the heat. It can be crowded as others have the same idea and there seems to be live shows for children on weekends. There is great people watching though. You see all kinds of people and it is easy to catch an afternoon movie on any day. My husband and I watched the super cheesy Baywatch. As bad a movie as it was, it was fun…though Zac Efron looks like he has aged a few decades! Movies, by the way, start with the national anthem and have an intermission break…but the a/c works great 🙂