For shopping in general, there....
Well, if you really must go to a mall, well...
Seriously, it is a way to see Mexican culture as it IS Right Now. Contemporary reality eh?
And you may think you'll just see a copy of North American malls, but... well, the reality is something much more subtle.
First off, the whole experience, like many things here in Mexico, is much more family-oriented. Yes, of course there are lots of teenage chavos and chavas hanging out, and young couples out on dates (lots of movie plexes sit in malls here, too), but there is a strong family presence. Moms and dads with kids and often with grandma and grandpa too.
Second off, you're going to rub shoulders with Mexicans who are pretty well off, profesionals and people with good jobs who can afford to go to the mall and spend money. Yeah, that's the same as in the U.S., but here in Tijuana, like in all of Mexico, we gringos always think there are so many more poor people, and it may come as a bit of a shock to find so many people all together spending money. Like we said, U.S.Americans tend to think of Mexico as being a poor country. It is, but is also a rich country. Has more resources, silver, oil, agriculture, forests, etc., than many other nations on this planet. The problem, as our friends here often tell us, is corruption. But that's another subject.
Third off, you will think, if you only look at the surface, that you are just seeing a copy of U.S. malls. But look a little deeper and you will feel Mexico all around you. 21st century reality, postmodern capitalist bourgeois reality, yes, but Mexican reality nonetheless. To start with, there's the language. Then the stronger family feeling. And then... well, food. They are all eating slightly different snacks, and with a different sense of style. Food mmmm. Yes, there's a Burger King (el rey burgues ha ha ha ha) at Plaza Rio but there are jalapeños. And don't tell me that well there are jalapeños in your u.s. burger king... um, where do you think that custom came from anyway??? Yep. Good old ancient Mesoamerican chile mmmmmmmm ssssssss crackle burnnnnnnnn yum.
El Centro Comercial Plaza Rio is one of the most popular and easiest to visit. Right in the first Zona Rio development, near the world's largest set of scissors sticking up out of the traffic circle where boulevards cross by CECUT. Any bus from downtown at 2nd and Constitución that says "PZA RIO" on the windshield will go by there. There's also parking but it gets very very full on weekends. Want'ta walk there?
Here's a picture that shows downtown (on the left), the border gate (upper right), and the zona rio with CECUT and Plaza Rio (on the far lower right).
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