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Headlines Afghanistan gets first shopping mall - People afraid of escalator

Jung

???
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Afghanistan's only escalator leads to shopping heaven.

By Can Merey, Kabul: It looks like a spaceship that has landed on the wrong planet. It is Afghanistan's very first shopping mall, gleaming with shops while on the dusty road outside people pump water and grim soldiers drive by in armoured vehicles.

The mall, which opened here this month, offers a lesson in contrast. It also boasts another first for Afghanistan, an escalator, which customers can use to reach upper floors - if they dare. "People are afraid of the escalator. They are amazed to see something moving by itself," says Anwar Hussein, manager of the hotel that shares a nine-storey building with the shopping centre. Customers afraid to use the escalator can take the lift in the safe knowledge there will be no power blackout because the building maintains its own generators.

The mall owners also claim their building is the only fully air-conditioned one in the capital and are advertising it as a cool haven for families during the national capital's searing summer months -- and as a warm, comfortable place to while away freezing winter days.

Mall director and co-owner Habib Safi is confident that visitors will not only use the centre to escape the city's harsh climate but will also spend money in its 90 shops. "You have to take risks," the businessman said. Shop proprietors who have leased space in the mall also believe in the newly emerging shopping frenzy. "It is nice to shop here. The markets outside are dusty," said shop owner Abdul Kasim.

The dresses displayed in his shop windows are imported from Turkey, their designs being rather daring for Afghanistan. Kasim is hoping for a good turnover regardless of the fact that many women in Kabul still wear the traditional, all-disguising burka. Women can still wear these clothes at home, Kasim reckons.

But there are few customers strolling in the aisles between the gold, textile, furniture and electrical appliance shops and the cafй on the ground floor that offers "coffee to go".

The ample lighting, meticulously clean aisles and Afghan pop music blaring from invisible loudspeakers baffle potential customers. The music only stops when the muezzin calls for prayers. It is only then that the casual visitor can recognise that they are still in Afghanistan.

Despite such peculiarities the first customers are excited. "That is real development. I wish Afghanistan were full of shopping malls," said customer Abdul Fatah, who had just purchased a silver wristwatch. The mall owners, who are already planning on expanding their retail empire beyond the city, could not agree more with Fatah.

Habib Safi plans to erect two skyscrapers with an incorporated shopping mall in the western Afghan town of Herat. In his office hang blueprints for the structures, which are to be called the Twin Towers. Christening the Herat towers after their New York counterparts, whose destruction was plotted by Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, is not at all tasteless, argues one of Safi's employees. "The difference is that our towers won't collapse," he smirks.


http://www.newkerala.com/news.php?action=fullnews&id=26739


:lol:
 

void

Banned - What an Asshat!
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i saw this in kathmandu in '99, a mall with escalator and elevator, people stood outside looking through the glass in wonderment..
inside was virtually empty.
 

Kiwi

Tal'chak'amel
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So people dont have money to buy food or go to school... and yet they have a shopping mall... long live capitalism -.-U
Actually now they're free from "opression", but still as poor and miserable as before, women are still opressed and beaten but they have a shopping mall with escalators! yay!
 

void

Banned - What an Asshat!
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Kiwi said:
So people dont have money to buy food or go to school... and yet they have a shopping mall... long live capitalism -.-U
Actually now they're free from "opression", but still as poor and miserable as before, women are still opressed and beaten but they have a shopping mall with escalators! yay!
if kabul is anything like any of the other third world cities i've been to then this mall wasn't built with many of the locals in mind, it's for the foreigners primarily.. the introduction of infrastructure like this encourages more and more companies to locate there, thus increasing foreign investment..
 

MaxPower

You're my number two
Staff
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We had some Japanese business partners that came over for training. Every morning when the coffee truck pulled up, and blew his air horn, they would break out into laughter. Apparently the idea of a truck driving from place to place selling food and coffee, was completely alien to them. Furthermore the airhorn that played a tune was giggle inspiring to them.
They later explained that due to traffic conditions, a coffee truck would never be able to cover enough ground in a day to make any money.
 

Kiwi

Tal'chak'amel
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void said:
if kabul is anything like any of the other third world cities i've been to then this mall wasn't built with many of the locals in mind, it's for the foreigners primarily.. the introduction of infrastructure like this encourages more and more companies to locate there, thus increasing foreign investment..
I know, I agree with you, I lived in a third world country for a while. But it's what makes me mad. You know Afganisthan has been freed to have McDonalds and Old navy Stores.

Coming back to the subject of escalators... my grand mother is afraid of them too, but because she always think she's going to fall on them (specially when she gets off) :D
 

RetArt

A Rampant Vagitarian
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Darklight said:


Damn n00bs...
Umm.. What is that devil-thingy behind them? The one with the diabolical eyes?


freaky.
 

void

Banned - What an Asshat!
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RetArt said:
Umm.. What is that devil-thingy behind them? The one with the diabolical eyes?


freaky.
a jawa without the cloak?

 

Darklight

Oppressing your posts...
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those damn jawas will get you anywhere... especially on escalators.. because they know you wont run...
 
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hey, at least the people with no money will have a great place to cool off. hopefully they don't have a loitering law.
 

void

Banned - What an Asshat!
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slemaire195 said:
hey, at least the people with no money will have a great place to cool off. hopefully they don't have a loitering law.
security guards at the door usually, and i'd say definately in that part of the world..
the people quoted as scared of the escalators were probably middle-class afghanis..