Saturday, October 8, 2016

Sambil Mall and Hard Rock Cafe

I finally ventured out and went to a big mall to see how it is here in Caracas. Sambil may be the biggest with plenty of American and local stores. There are American fast food places like KFC, Wendy's, McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, Quiznos, and a few others I'm probably forgetting. There's 3-5 floors to this place depending on which area. There's a really nice Hard Rock Cafe on the 5th floor with covered outdoor seating.

Plenty of people wandered around. There were huge lines for the ATMs and banks as people need lots of cash with the inflation. The restaurants were kind of dead but the fast food places were busy. It seemed like a lot of people were there like me to mostly look around since it was a nice place to do it. I didn't see a whole lot of shopping even though the stores were full of stuff to buy.

Prices ranged from a little cheaper to a bit outrageous from my perspective. Most of it hovered around U.S. prices as far as I could tell with the exchange rate. Local wages haven't kept up with inflation so everything's probably much more expensive without dollars to transfer into the country. It's good for me that I get paid in dollars. :-) If this is what their inflation has done so far then I'm not looking forward to next year if it gets more expensive than this. Hopefully the exchange rate keeps up with inflation. Here's some pics of the mall:

There were a few other customers in Hard Rock Cafe, but with a burger and 2 small local beers for 18,500 Bs then maybe it isn't so affordable to have a lot of customers. Let's say that was around $18.50 for me with easy math. They had the standard Caracas menu of food without prices and a printed price sheet in the back to easily change out for frequent price changes.

Lenny Kravitz

The Edge

Joe Walsh

Stevie Nicks

Here's two examples of prices with very rough exchange rate math:

Converse on sale for 24,999 Bs or about $25 which sounds good.

Samsung 55" Curved TV for 3,551,550 Bs or about $3,550.
It's $900-$1000 in the U.S. so I wouldn't buy it here!

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