On the very depressing atmosphere to be found in major shopping centres.


Last Saturday, for the first time ever I spent more than fifteen minutes in a large shopping centre. It happened to be the Centre Comercial Gl˛ries on Barcelona's Avinguda Diagonal, but could have been any one of the countless complexes dedicated to hard-core purchasing to be found in just about every corner of Catalonia.
I lasted three whole hours. Like anyone else, I have to shop from time to time, and like anyone else, I sometimes find it easier to do so in a place that sells anything from children's shoes to pork fillet ľ to name two items on my shopping list - in a relatively confined space. So why, just moments after entering this space, did I feel so lousy, so down in the mouth, so in need of five shots of tequila? Perhaps it was the war-memorial-sized, disarmingly expressionless inflatable rabbit of welcome in the foyer. Perhaps it was the hangar dimensions of the Carrefour supermarket, along whose tiring aisles I searched in vain for noodles to go with the pork. Perhaps it was the slowness of the escalators carrying laden shoppers to their next port of call, their faces grim with patience. Or, who knows?, maybe it was the frankfurt-and-coffee odour of the numerous snack bars, their internal terraces trapped under poor lighting, a vapid puff of buy-talk rising in flatulent bursts from their many customers. Whatever: by the time I got out of there I felt as if my brain had been erased, that life had even less meaning than usual, that the sky would remain forever grey. The following day, as if the C.C. Gl˛ries itself was trying to justify my gloom, I discovered the pork bought there was four days past its sell-by date and smelt of wasted time.

- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programaciˇ: Nac -