19.08.2014 - 19.08.2014
Today I woke up to a much colder Santiago. The clouds were tarrying so the surrounding mountains (including the Andes) weren’t visible. A perfect day for shopping in other words! My friend Michelangelo recommended me to visit Costanera Center and I got directions to walk over there. I think it took 10 minutes to walk from the apartment. Costanera Center is a trade and business complex in Providencia, Santiago. The complex consists of several buildings; one shopping mall, Gran Torre Santiago (the highest building in South and Latin America with its 300 meters), two hotel buildings andone office building.
The shopping mall in Costanera Center has 6 floors. And when talking about floors I must mention that all entrance floors in Chile are called 1. That means if you’re going with an elevator and want to go to the entrance floor you need to push button number 1. And if you need to go to the 6th floor you need to push number 7 in the elevator and so on. As I said, 6 floors with stores and stores… and the highest floor with restaurants and above those are cinemas showing movies every day. I found out that the shopping mall covers 308 stores… so Kupolen and NK, you can dash yourselves against the wall! Costanera Center is the most superior shopping mall I’ve ever visited. And for those who likes shopping will definitely find something here – there’s something for everyone! Even though shopping malls can be boring I must say Costanera Center was light, airy and anything but narrow. Something I did notice was all the visible security guards everywhere. Not just inside but outside the stores as well. In the beginning it freaked me out a little bit by being watched all the time, but you got used to it and later it felt safe knowing that they were watching over you.
And you should definitely not be asthmatic or sensitive or allergic to strong fragrances if you want to go shopping here. All stores have aroma sprays in every corner and all stores have a different fragrance. Most of the times I didn’t mind the fragrance from store to store… but the fragrance inside Armani Exchange got too much for me. That super strong scent of coconut almost made me vomit so I never went inside that store again.
As said, a lot of stores selling everything from jewelries and electronic devices to clothes and shoes. A heaven for a shop-aholic, with branded clothes like H&M, Adidas, Banana Republic, GAP, Calvin Klein, Crocs, Zara, Ripleys and so on. And during this time of year it was obviously sales in every store and as I mentioned earlier clothes is much cheaper here in Chile compared to Sweden. Cheap clothes + sales = Great findings! Ha ha, if I had known that I would never had packed my baggage so full of clothes from back home… I could easily have filled up my baggage with brand new clothes bought here in Santiago.
During all shopping I had to pause and eat. I’m surprised how little English the Chilean people speak, especially in a big city like Santiago within commercial business and restaurants. But with my knobby Spanish and with help from people behind me in line I managed to order the food I wanted. It’s obviously an advantage to speak Spanish in a Spanish-speaking country, no doubt about that, but you don’t have to be a pro… even I made it and I’m definitely not a genius for languages. I felt a little silly walking back to the apartment carrying all those shopping bags. But I was very happy with all findings I made during the day. Only problem was if I would be able to bring everything back home to Sweden without paying for over weight on the flight. In the evening I tried out ski boots, skis and poles that my dear friend would lend me during tomorrows skiing in Valle Nevado.