The Lilo Mall
04 July, 2013
The Lilo Mall
I like it when things look and sound funny because the things which look and sound funny entertain me greatly. The other day, one of my routine errands to run real quick was purchasing a couple of kitchen utensils which would take care of my cat’s gastro-intestinal well-being. I could have bought the desired gear somewhere in town, but I had decided in favor of shopping out of town, just for a change – who knows what other useful trinkets
I could come across while shopping in a big place like the Lilo Mall, a couple of kilometers away to the East form the Tbilisi International Airport.
I hadn’t been at the Lilo ‘bazroba’ in a long time and the new entrance impressed me greatly – a turnpike opening automatically when being fed a two-lari coin, spacious parking lot and guess what – a sign in huge white letters on the field of green – ‘Lilo Mall’. Wow, isn’t this wonderful! The Georgian word ‘bazroba’ was substituted by an English word ‘mall’ – a vivid example of the latest fashion predisposition in Georgia! My nasty attitude, based on previous impressions, changed immediately, and I heard my inner voice saying: Nug, you are in a different world today – open your eyes wider and make no mistake! And I proceeded with a well-defined attitude of a happy camper, equipped with a sense of a responsible shopper and with a wallet of a solid gentleman in the pocket although I would only have to spend a few laris out of it. The fat wallet was still good to have on me because a mall of those parameters would definitely suggest a great opportunity of successful shopping. Therefore, I hurried into the depths of the famous Lilo Mall. Believe it or not, it took me less than five minutes to understand that a deep delusion was part of my fate that frustrating morning: all of a sudden, I found myself in the same dirty old shopping conglomerate, created long, long ago and having made hardly any progress towards what we are used to call a ‘civilized world of demand and supply’. And the place is given a name with a stentorian loudness – Lilo Mall. The ill-managed filthy dilapidated and antiquated commercial complex is so outrageously outdated in style and function that it falls out of any more or less normal concept of contemporary commercial approach. On the other hand, the place is overcrowded at any point of its hours of operation. Well, the place is certainly cheaper than any regular store in town, and also, it is very well kept floating on the surface by its operators – must be something incomparably and painlessly lucrative. What else? Easy to rent and even easier to maintain! The impregnability of security is almost guaranteed, having huge heavy shutters over each shopping window, locked by regular padlocks. I understand that my fleeting sarcasm and indignation will not change anything much because I might be angry today and will forget it tomorrow! So my sarcasm and indignation will not even move a single eyebrow of the poker-faced operators of the Mall - let’ call it a ‘mall’ if you want. The only stinging action I can go for would probably be my belated observation that this glaring and blaring paradigm of the wild underdeveloped capitalism is still working here in Georgia with great success. Would our national economy suffer much if we start getting rid of those dirty rodent-infested spots of embarrassment? Probably not! And the sooner the better! For how long should we be suffering from the on-going discrepancy between the way we want to live and the way we are actually living?
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