Friday, July 18, 2008

Solidarity's Dream

They have an unimaginable amount of huge malls here. They're not so much places to shop, as they are temples to Capitalism. (Actually, at the beginning of every fiscal year they sacrifice a real, live communist in hopes that the gods grant a bountiful year of wide profit margins.) These malls are gigantic, and they are everywhere. In Warsaw there are two malls that are directly across the street from each other, and most likely have the same stores. It's blows my mind that all these stores that sell all the same, overpriced shit can actually turn enough profit to stay open. Somehow they do.
Anyway, on the outskirts of Warsaw there's a mall in an old tractor factory, aptly called "Factory." The stores are only clothing stores, mostly catering to higher fashion, but they are also cheaper (more wholesale prices), but the stores are smaller and the mall is rather bare bones (crappy fluorescent lighting, concrete pad for a floor, no amenities like a food court or anything.) All the stores selling suits also had guys with (presumably) their girlfriends. Some seemed to be their mothers, but I don't think I saw a guy trying on a suit without asking the advice of some female companion. Clothes shopping is high on my list of torturous activities, and I cannot fathom why people find it relaxing or fun. A student of mine, a lady in her forties or fifties, said that she thought that shopping to women was like hunting for men. I thought this was really cool. Maybe not hunting, but still fulfilling the gatherer instinct. She, Barbara, described how it is to "hunt" for an outfit.

1 comment:

Real Chile said...

Hmmm. I am seeing a lot of similarities with Chile in the sense of the developing world kind of mentality. Malls in Chile are most definitely shrines to capitalism with really overpriced stuff where a lot of people go to pray at the alter of capitalism. Although as far as I know there are no sacrifices barring the locally owned businesses that seem to be dying at the hands of globalism and consumers who don't consider the tole it takes on their society.