The kids are getting to have a real 1980’s “Stranger Things” experiences here in Santiago. Not in the form of battling evil creatures, having super powers, or living in parallel universes. Well, maybe in a way they are getting to live in a parallel universe. But here they’re constantly finding themselves at the mall!
There are at least three epic mall situations within a couple miles of us here in Santiago. They contain everything from super high end stores like Gucci, Hermes, and Ferragamo, to restaurants (yes, there’s a Chili’s in Chile), to 4D movie theaters (4D is where the chair moves in response to the movie). Every mall also contains a grocery store. So you can buy your thousand dollar stiletto pumps and then grab your broccoli and box of milk for dinner!
These malls are very much a hub of activity. The parking lots always seems to be full. People are shopping, dining, and hanging out there. I’m curious if this is partly due to the heat of the summer in Santiago, but only time will tell.
Being that everything is at the mall, we’ve found ourselves in malls several times, starting with a trip to purchase birthday gifts for Wilson. We hit up the lego store, a game shop that sold Pokemon cards, and a sporting goods store for some balls and basic sports gear. We even bought our bikes at the mall and rolled them through the mall to the parking lot.
The kids were amazed by the whole mall experience and how it was an indoor destination of activity in which they could very much spend the whole day. There’s even a mall here with a surfing wave. Mall culture in the US has changed a bit – we still have concerts and gatherings in malls like North Hills in Raleigh, but they’re more outdoor, open air, park like experiences. The concert we witnessed in the mall in Santiago was much more “New Kids on the Block is making an appearance to promote their new cassette tape on a stage in Crabtree.”
Anyway, its a cultural experience that they wouldn’t normally get back home. Now they can relate when older people talk about 80’s and 90’s mall culture.