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Doing A Big Canadian Mall

I'm not really a mall person, but in Edmonton, the northern Canada city in Alberta, you go to the mall. Everybody does. In fact, when I arrived at the West Edmonton Mall last Thursday, it seemed like the city's entire population of one million was there, too. This is because the West Edmonton Mall isn't so much a shopping center as it is a hallucination where entertainment meets commerce.

Think I'm kidding? The indoor waterpark, which is roughly the size of Madison Square Garden and has a wave pool, waterslides, a constant 86-degree temperature and the world's tallest bungee-jumping platform, at 106-feet, was packed with hundreds of Edmontonians in bathing suits. It was just down the way from the Payless Shoe Source and one of three Orange Julius's, but to get there you had to pass by the full-sized replica of Columbus's Santa Maria ship, the submarine ride, the lagoon with a shark and penguin aquarium, the flamingo show and the sea lion act that featured a burping California Sea Lion. Those were just around the corner from the full-sized ice-skating rink, where kids and adults zoomed around, and the indoor amusement park with three roller-coasters, including one that made three full loops that made me turn green just watching it.

Oh yes, there are 800 stores, too, if you can tear yourself away from the 21 movie theatres and 100 restaurants. I've never seen anything like it, but then, I'm not a mall person. Drop us a comment below if you can think of anything that comes close to the West Edmonton Mall.