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Newer Page 952 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
India Chennai Mall Spencer Plaza

11 December 2005

The Indian mall experience

It has now been one week since my arrival in India, and only 6 days to go, which will go fast as there is a busy work schedule. Today is my last chance for shopping during the day so I have planned to go to the large mall called spencer plaza.
As per yesterday, theres no possiblilty of leaving until about lunch time, so I am in the hotel watching Dunstan Checks In...and reading the paper.
Which leads me to, what do Indians think of Americans? The land of hopes and dreams? utopia? hell no!

India-Chennai-Mall-Spencer Plaza - If you are too lazy to click, the headline reads, 'Bird flu is the latest scam perpetrated by the American government and pharmaceutical companies' an

If you are too lazy to click, the headline reads,
'Bird flu is the latest scam perpetrated by the American government and pharmaceutical companies'
and just when you thought that was good enough, the main text starts as such,
'Money makes not just the world go around but turns it topsy-turvy all the time. America needed a war to keep its armament companies happy, especially since the vice-president, Dick Cheney, himself had headed one of the largest government contracting companies. So they invented the Bogey of Iraq. They destroyed Afghanistan before that, complaining that there were not enough "targets" to shoot at from the air (so they bombed schools and hospitals). But the most money in the world does not come from just armament sale. It comes from creating scares of epidemics. Then the world's purses open up readily.'

Whilst my room is being cleaned I go for a wander and meet a white fellow, Stephan, who is a German working for an American oil company who utilize the port of Chennai. It seems he has been recruited specifically for the task of working in Chennai, as the company was struggling to find people prepared to come here.
Stephan speaks good english, and tells me that he has been here since the start of November and will go back to America for 3 months in January before returning to Chennai again.
This is his first 'tour of duty' and he has so far been hospitalized 3 times! This has me concerned....Stephan has moved to this hotel as he was previously at a 5 star hotel in the center of town which is having issues with their water. Stephan believes he is getting sick from the shower water, I decide to be more careful even though I have been concious not to swallow the shower water.

For breakfast I decide I am sick of bread products (which includes cakes, muffins, crossaints) and opt for an omlette, a chef prepares while you wait and you have your choices of what you want in it.
This is purely for non Indians - it seems South Indians consider egg products to be meat. The 'eggs to order' section seems to be the favourite of the Chinese, never the less the Indian chef does a very good job, I have observed him the last few days before trying, I am not usually a big fan of omlettes, but it is palatable.

I am very much relieved that my laptop seems to be working properly, but also a little dissapointed that the cleaning staff must have spilt something in it! It will soon be time to depart for an afternoon of shopping, who knows what I will find.

My car arrives with vaigunth happy to see me, he has been to a wedding at 9am until now, he assures me it finished at 11am.
We drive to some stores selling what can best be described as Indian antiquites, carvings, rugs, cloth, statues, furniture - the sales people are very pushy, and it seems it was the drivers idea to come to such places.
Things seem cheap, especially furniture, but how am I supposed to get a chest of drawers back to Australia? The standard answer is, 'no problem sir, we arrange shipping at very good rate', Im sure it is a good rate, but its still going to be an enormous very good rate!
I buy a few things, I wont mention what as they are gifts, I also buy myself another shirt, a finer quality shirt this time, costing about $15.

Eventually we move onwards to Spencer Plaza, parking is an ordeal, I get quite anxious as we head further and further underground, at least 5 floors, a boy jogs in front of us as security blows whistles and directs the car, it seems its the boys job to listen to their instructions and we follow him.
The concerning aspects are, the poor ventilation, the pools of water and loud pumps in operation, some of which emit black smoke, and the extremely tight space between parked cars - our driver seems unconcerned.
Eventually we find our park and make for the lift, which takes a good 10 minutes to arrive, I am looking around for the stairs in case of fire/tsunami, but cant see any!
I am thinking to myself its a good thing we are at the front of the line to get the lift, so we dont have to wait again, but no, its no problem for everyone to fit in the lift, which on the inside says 'maximum 20 occupants' - I dont dare to count.
And then, there we are, like a mirage, a megamall!


India-Chennai-Mall-Spencer Plaza - The mall is constructed of 3 phases, and 5 stories high, the phases are large circles, but running off these circles are narrow alley ways, as depicte

The mall is constructed of 3 phases, and 5 stories high, the phases are large circles, but running off these circles are narrow alley ways, as depicted above.


India-Chennai-Mall-Spencer Plaza - They had shirts here that changed colors depending on the angle you view them, I resist temptation.

They had shirts here that changed colors depending on the angle you view them, I resist temptation.


India-Chennai-Mall-Spencer Plaza - Phase 3 of Spencer Plaza.

Phase 3 of Spencer Plaza.


India-Chennai-Mall-Spencer Plaza - An Nvidia theme store! Nearly everything in here is Nvidia branded, cases, clothes etc.

An Nvidia theme store! Nearly everything in here is Nvidia branded, cases, clothes etc.


India-Chennai-Mall-Spencer Plaza - Inside 'landmark' a popular department store which is mainly a bookshop but now seems to have everything.

Inside 'landmark' a popular department store which is mainly a bookshop but now seems to have everything.


India-Chennai-Mall-Spencer Plaza - Lunch! yes, I had lunch at subway in India, my friends are keen for me to have 'non veg' as they call it, and the line is shorter here than pizza hut,

Lunch! yes, I had lunch at subway in India, my friends are keen for me to have 'non veg' as they call it, and the line is shorter here than pizza hut, you cant get beef, but chicken, lamb and turkey are OK. At the subway here there are 2 seperate lines and 2 seperate kitchens, one for veg, one for non veg. It tastes similar to Australian subway, I have salad despite the warnings of health department officials in Australia.


I probably spent a good 3 hours at spencer plaza just wandering aimlessly, I bought many things, which shall remain a secret....
I dont feel that I even saw half of it, I did however buy a Dream Theater CD which I did not own (the latest one) for 300 rupees, it is new, not pirated, and under $10, perhaps I can ebay it to some die hard fan who wishes to collect the releases from every country.

We make the journey back to the hotel, stopping at food world, where I purchase 7up and some chilli cashews, the journey is very quick surprisingly.
There are weddings on everywhere, apparently it is a very fortunate day to get married, according to astrology.
I am back at the hotel quite early, 6pm, and tonights movie is.....titanic.....

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