Portuguese people like to $hop
There’s a common saying among Portuguese people that states “when a Portuguese pees he does it in threes” — mind the 2 cents translation — which is to say, in case you wanna brush up on your Daniela Ruah-ish, “onde mija um Português mijam logo dois ou três”.
This means that peeing is a contagious thing among us. We all have the bladders of a small nervous puppy. If girls do tend to the toilets in pairs we from the House of Penis are a weirder crowd: if you hang out with a gang of Portuguese dudes prepare yourself for an after drinks lonely 15 minutes: they will leave you alone and abandon you in sequence. So first there goes Bruno. And then Pedro and Sérgio. In this fake team peeing effort, you are not gay bit if that suits your interests that’s okay with me.
So Portuguese people are prone to team spirit and respond well at collective calls for action. But one thing annoys the fuck out of me when they do things in group: Shopping. Fucking S & H to the Opping.
I heard the other day the main contender to the Lisbon City Hall — his name if Fernando Medina and let’s just say he has the charisma that of a narcolpetic goose — saying that “Lisbon’s core population is at 500.000 people. Out of these 500.000 people, 376.000 bring their cars to the city”. And, if you’re the standard tourist doing the Monuments Tour or the Downtown Experience, you may never have noticed but I’m pretty fucking sure 375.999 of these Go Pee Team fucktards — me included — will also park their cars in a shopping mall. Tuesdays at 2:00pm. Saturdays at five past ten in the morning.
You name the day and the time there are Portuguese dudes window shopping. Sitting and staring at yesterday’s ass and nowhere’s scrotum. And peeing in threes in said shoppings while their wives scout through Zara, Primark or whatever other brand that makes you waste pathetic amounts of time in these “cathedrals of consumption” (that’s not mine, that’s sociologist George Ritzer).
Let’s just recap how better could you spend your time other than waltzing through psychedelic and noisy theme parks for money-grabbing:
> do some Sports
> do some Reading
> do some online shopping (bonus points for peeing Alone and not having to deal with the famous Portuguese tradition of staring at two more penises besides your own; in case you are gay then just keep shopping as you did before sir)
> do some Painting (what? People don’t Paint now? Ok, maybe they don’t but you know what? They should)
and countless other mind-challenging activies that stimulate your brain rather than dumbing it down to sheep-like potential. I honestly think if Portuguese shopping malls sold ration and had milking sessions at 8:00am we all would gladly agree to it. Ration is certainly healthier than a fucking Big Mac. And milking wouldn’t sound so bad as chillin’ in the outside cafeteria or in the wifi staring at your life passing in front of all your senses.
So I took a look at what shopping numbers look like in the US — it is an American brand and they do have a President that, besides the famous ‘Wall’, probably has another white people wet dream called The Mall for Us, Not Blacks Nor Spicks — and the numbers don’t look good. In fact, they look so bad there’s even someone shooting this
across the country. And Credit Suisse expects that more of the 1300 enclosed malls in America are doomed to ‘CLOSED DOORS BROHEMES’ door signs in the next 5 years.
Numbers are looking so bad they become wikipedia entries such as this.
Mind you that I’m not a subscriber of the Happy Unemployment newsletter — we are actually talking about 8,600 stores closing and 5,300 retail stores closing, including Sears, Macy’s, JCPenney and Kmart — that is ravaging through the Mall biz. In fact, the term ‘retail apocalypse’ has been around since 2002 and has been ‘whacking’ these buildings one after another. But there’s always hope things will turn around:
So Americans are already doing what you just saw. Yes, converting malls into condos suited for STR. That’s what you get with Americans: they can be Midas and Mark Wahlberg in the same hour, which is to say they can spawn brilliant ideas and be pleasantly innovative as quick as they dump tons of manure into the community.
That’s what they did in the early 90s and of course movies played their part: Clueless, Mall Rats and The Blues Brothers provided distorted shots of prosperity. Now they’re thinking malls as a platform to give back and not just to take in. Uber also shares this vision with many car parks by turning them into city gardens. Kudos America. You can have your Midas moments. Just mind your next Mark Wahlberg move…
The thing with Portugal is I can’t visualize this type of future for shopping malls. People became too attached to them. Spending the entire day with the company of crisscrossing escalators and the smell of chlorine seems to be as entertaining as going to the beach or watch an art exhibit.
We could have one of the Dragons from GOT flying in the Lisbon sky everyday, charge people to look at it through some goggles and yet you would still hear someone mutter “There’s absolutely-something-I-will-never-use-in-the-years-to-come with whatever-the-discount-percentage-that-boosts-my-ego-now-for-some-reason off at insert-name-of-sheep-swarming-shopping-here, have to go now, ta-da dying Grandma!”, when they could easily e and/or mobile shop that soon-to-be-useless thing.
It comes to no surprise then why a shopping mall as fucking huge as Colombo is — more than 320 stores — would be based on the 1500s, when Portugal was one of the MVPs of the History Game. I mean dude, you gotta have those pots, they would make mezzanine pop! (in this scenario you’re not gay, just a little bit bi-curious).
Let us imagine the face of Vasco da Gama or Pedro Álvares Cabral looking at their countrymen’s feats in the modern days…
I can’t stand shopping malls. I can’t imagine myself ‘providing the experience’ to my children. They symbolize what I believe we humans do not have in common: indifference, submission, agreeing and smiling to dullness and mediocrity in packs. Life lives past you, you don’t get to enjoy it and the worse thing is you are paying for it.
Agreeing to discounts as if they were orders. Walking through corridors like fucking robots and shit. I better call someone way better than me at hating:
Of course there is hope. Online shopping does help to reduce the ketamine that takes care of Portuguese mall walkers. Social media content also gives a hand: you will see no popular video or Your Favorite blogger or youtuber making content in malls. Products are closer to you, they get to you, you don’t need a mocacchino at a shopping Starbucks and you absolutely don’t wanna know about Corinne Bailey Rae’s latest jazz explorations (remember those Starbucks Cds? Yeah, fuck them).
What you need is to chill with Corinne.
Have a drink with Bailey.
Actually have some form of human interaction with Rae.
That’s just a suggestion.
Get out of malls. Live a little. There’s a fucking beautiful day outside waiting for you.
And we’re sorry to say but…