A new and one of at least four big shopping centers in our town (this one with a cinema complex I just love!) Tuš Planet finally opened just a few meters from my home. At ten o’clock in the morning on a Wednesday. Bad idea? Wrong. Great idea. Moments before ten a looong procession of retirees flocked to the centre resembling the long line of people paying a visit to the graves of their loved ones on Nov 1st. They packed tightly in front of the revolving door and waited for the mayor to do their job. Usually, nobody gives a damn if the mike’s not working, but this time, they didn’t like it. A sign of what was really going on in their heads. I knew it – I’ve been to the opening of a different shopping mall just a few hundred meters further down the road.
The speech over and the gray-haired crowd (well, at that point we could call it a mob) pushed to the revolving door and almost brake it. It stopped, because the people were blocking it. So they couldn’t go in nor out, but they were still pushing in juts as if they want to violentl push other people aside. Even the security guys who kept pushing them back and yelling at them to go slow. “What do you mean ‘slow'”, one pops asked. What the hell? Don’t you understand what slow means?
What’s interesting is how they pushed. They didn’t really use their hands or try to get by. Some of them kept slamming into the security guy like a wind-up robot hitting the wall, because it can’t turn away. It was like obsession at work. And here’s why. When a granny rushed in with her granchild, the malls mascot greeted them. “What do you have for us?” she asked. “Well, a handshake and a nice greeting,” replied the guy. And her genuinly insulted answer was: “Pff, I can’t take that home.”
Needless to say that most of the people attacked the stand where they could fill out a questionaire to participate in a draw for a new car. And the other 50% attacked the grocery mega shop that looked like a day before Armageddon. So, I though to myself, this is what it’ looks like when people are getting ready for the end of the world. But in reality they shop because they’re brainwashed and addicted.
On the other, they came to retreive whatevere they would get free. Be it a candy, dozens of baloons etc. Or eat and drink for free. It doesn’t matter if it’s a very small cup of beer they all know and can get even cheaper than juice. It doesn’t matter if it’s tap water. It’s free and if it’s free, they need to get it. They served bograč, a Slovenian dish, under a tent in front of the mall, and amazingly when people learned that a free meal is outside, the inside of the mall cleared out in just a few minutes. Everybody ran outside of fear they might go home hungry. Well, all in all, the fight for food was still milder than that of the previous opening where the retirees pushed children aside, pushed and shoved each other to get to a cake, they finally tipped over… And now imagine the mentality…
As for the shopping mall and cinema complex. It’s the best thing in a while here around my home. Cosy if I need to go for a cup of cocoa in the evening. It’s not crowded (yet), and the cinema halls are great, comfortable seats… It also houses bowling and pool, a restaurant etc. Nice.