Monday, November 07, 2005

Late night at Mustafa's in Little India

On a restless Friday night, K and I decided to visit Mustafa's in Little India.
Mustafa's
Mustafa's

Over the past decade, Mustafa's has become quite the local institution - if you want to buy something, odds are they'll have it. They sell everything, and they sell it at 3am in the morning if you need it. We bought our DVD player from here a while back, and it was good bargain.

Mustafa's is a departmental store in the old tradition. Forget about the aesthetics, pretty store displays, and fancy advertising campaigns of the Orchard Road stores. Mustafa's lives and breathes by price and quantity - they have it cheap, and they have lots of it, and that's all customers need to know. The store itself sprawls across several buildings now, having taken over what looks like a basement carpark in course of its expansion. Its innards are labyrinthine in complexity and warehouse-like in organisation - aisle upon crowded aisle, pressing customers against customers, often requiring you to go down two floors, cross several departments, and go up another two floors to get to what you're looking for (as we had to in our search for the camera department).

Not recommended for the claustrophobic, but no better place for the insomniac shopaholic.

Outside, the streets were dim and quiet when we left. The area around Mustafa's seems to be a mix of decay and re-growth - we saw spanking new electronics shops next to coffeeshops that looked like they'd not changed since the 60s, next to abandoned old buildings like this one below. Now recognisable only by the silhouette of its long removed signs, the Rasa Sayang Lounge has obviously seen better times. Different times as well - when the street it was on was a different kind of place.

the rasa sayang lounge
The Rasa Sayang Lounge

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