Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Love is in the Air

Caracas is full to overflowing with shopping centers - not strips malls, but miniature shopping malls. There are no stand alone stores, or very few anyway, nearly everything is connected to one of these shopping center. These "smalls" are usually several floors tall and almost always include a parking garage and a grocery store. Most people refer to them by their location followed by the name of the resident grocery store. Additionally, there are several more traditional malls where the people crowd en masse each weekend. The largest of these, and in fact the largest shopping mall in South America, is the Centro Comercial Sambil. It is enormous, true, but not when compared with your average North American mall. The major difference is there aren't any anchor/department stores in this country so it is just row upon row of stores - 5 stories tall with a movie theatre, a food court and an indoor amusement park (Mall of America it is not) as well.

Since everything in this country is imported and therefore RIDICULOUSLY expensive, we went to the mall expressly to eat and have a look around - not to shop. And, we were not alone. The hallways were bursting with people, the escalators were packed and there were lines for the elevators, but the stores were empty. We walked past Nine West and Hilfiger and Zara and not a customer in sight. How these businesses stay afloat is anybody's guess.

My favorite part of our visit to Sambil was the tango show, or what we thought was a tango show, that greeted us as we exited the elevator from the parking lot. Turns out, it was an elaborate advertisement for a new air freshener fragrance by Glade called "With Love." On either side of the dance floor was a raised, circular platform and periodically the dancers would tango (is that a verb?) over to the platforms, scoop up the can of Glade strategically placed there and in very obviously choreographed movements spray the new fragrance into the air as they continued their dancing. It was brilliant. And it smelled pretty good too.
A view from the top

Caleb waiting in line for a ride at the indoor amusement park

We didn't go in, but probably will at some point

The back drop says "love is in the air," clever, no?

Sidling up to the can of Glade

If you look closely you can see the can in his right hand

Ah, the Tango


16 comments:

Annemarie said...

The Glade Tango is HILARIOUS!!! I would've loved to see that first hand.

dana said...

Sounds like quite the mall experience. The US could use a little more Tango advertising...or maybe some swing dancing in the mall.

Kimberly said...

I love your tales about everyday life there. And I think you should try the Glad and let me know if it brings love into the air.

diane said...

Live commercials, brilliant. That's better than Dancing With the Stars.

Smiths said...

Hey Linsey! What a fun suprise. I have to admit that it took a little research to figure out who this Linsey in Venezuela was.

Thank goodness you saw right through the enticing Galde advertising... or did you? You didn't mention whether you bought some or not:)

Christian said...

You can pay ridiculous prices at the mall and we can pay ridiculous prices at the pump and the mall! At least you've got cheap gas!

Shelley said...

So what does Love smell like anyway?

Hazen5 said...

I want that kind of mall here! I think I would do too much shopping. Glade sure knows how to sell it's product!

Lauren in GA said...

I agree with Rachel! I want that kind of mall here, too!

Sandi said...

That is way too funny. I collect the guitar can opener refrigerator magnets from Hard Rock Cafe, but only if I actually go there. I guess I am going to have to schedule a visit.

gab said...

I love visiting Caracas from the safety and comfort of my kitchen table. The dancing Glade ad is highly entertaining.

Sebastian said...

Actually, tango is a verb...and I am sure the Brazilians might have something to say about Caracas having the biggest mall in South America.

Ruby Red Slippers said...

Hello down there! Tag! youre it! check out my blog to find out what that is...

Tristan said...

I have to agree, the Glade Tango is too funny!

Starrymedgirl said...

Still can't believe you guys are living in Caracas. I still remember, "Ooh, Ahh, Chavez no se va!" being chanted in the background of Chris's mission tapes. :) Love to hear about your adventures.

Ilene said...

I'm totally sold on that Glade product. It better make my husband tango like that.

 

Design by Custom Blog Designs/FreeStyleMama Creations