Monday, November 10, 2008

The МЕГА (Mega)

Friday was payday, so I went shopping for something other than groceries Saturday after work. Luckily, I was able to control my pent up consumerism and didn't buy everything in the Mega (a huge mall not too far from Kon'kovo). I now have a couple blankets for my bed, some decent kitchen knives, a kid-cheater (spatula or rubber scraper), a whisk, some mixing bowls ... and other practical household items that I have been wanting. Next weekend I plan to go clothes and Christmas shopping, and hopefully that trip is as successful.

The Mega is a short bus ride from the metro and it has everything from clothes to furniture to groceries to an ice skating rink. It's like an American mall, but larger. Maybe it could be compared to the Mall of America. The concept of the Mega seems to be to consolidate and centralize shopping options for this area of Moscow (keep in mind that there are multiple Megas around Moscow). Millions of people, thousands of cars, and hundreds public and private buses and vans make for what initially looks like a big mess. Parking looks like a nightmare (but at least there's a parking lot, in downtown Moscow people resort to parking on the sidewalks). Why would a city or area planner agree to create such a huge mall with no metro access, no parking garages, and inadequate road access? It's absolutely crazy! The benefit of having this mall out in the middle of nowhere (if there can be such a place in Moscow) is that the number of people are limited. If the metro stopped at the mall, I'm afraid the place would be packed at all times. Regardless, it was an adventure to be endured only once or twice a month max!

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