Shopping in the shopping centers of the larger cities in Southern Brasil is the same as shopping in any mall in America, except of course, your American dollars go farther. There are a few differences, though, that I’ll talk about. Most stores in Brasil have a limited selection of stock on hand. Some of the larger chains will have everything you need, but the smaller, boutique stores carry limited size choices, so if you are looking for a particularly difficult size to find, chances are, you won’t find it in these shops. Many Brasilian women, for instance, are very petite and slim, especially up top. If you go to a clothing store in the mall, you’re going to find only items that fit that particular body type. You’ll find sizes 0 to 10, but not much above that. If you’re like me, what they call a grande grande or x-grande, forget about it (actually, I am down to a grande, thank you very much). You’ll have to shop somewhere else, the mall isn’t where you’ll find many options. Speaking of grande grande, let’s go to the food court.
The food courts in the malls in Brasil may not be as large as those in America, but they are comparable to some extent. You will almost always find a McDonald’s, sometimes right next to its Brasilian counterpart, Bob’s, serving up hamburgers and french fries in a jiffy. You’ll also find one or two places that serve the original Brasilian fast food, pastels, in many flavors, including beef, chicken, and heart of palm. Then there are the buffets that serve up a complete array of foods by the kilo (1 kilo = 2 lbs. roughly). You’ll find stroganoff, fried fish, chicken, and a whole assortment of rice and potato dishes, along with plenty of vegetables. At these restaurants, you will be served on china, instead of paper plates. No kidding. Most mall restaurants have china plates and they are distinguished by the pattern on the plate, so that, if a person forgets to bring the plate back when they are finished, the workers at the restaurant know exactly whose plates they are. And real silverware or flatware, no plastic. It’s quite unique.
Tomorrow, I’ll talk about dessert, finally! We’ll see what our options are in and outside of the mall.
Till then, Tchau!