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Issue 25/2008, December 19 2008 (No. 275)

Places (19)

        
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THE DAILY GROOVE
ISSUE 025-08:
PLACES (19)


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A large shopping center in Bremen
In Bremen there a lot of large shopping centers.

  The shopping center, you see in this picture, isn't subject of the below report.

I stayed in a small shopping center for about three hours at a time on two successive days. The shopping center mainly consisted of three radially converging small malls. An autoteller was almost in the center of the star. The floor was tiled with grey tiles, the walls were made of red bricks.
 
I visited the center during the Advent season. Oversized red jelly bag caps were hanging down from the ceiling. Conventionally decorated Christmas trees and big star-shaped flower boxes with artificial flowers and red ribbons had been put up.
 
There were also stalls in the malls because of the Advent season. A trader ,who spoke with East European accent, was offering finely made silver jewellery with semiprecious stones and chic pullovers and clothes with exceptional design. At other stalls elderly women were knitting doll clothes, sewing teddies and offering amateurishly painted things, such as chip boxes and baskets.
 
In the intersection of the malls was an improvisational sweetmeat counter, behind which a man in his mid-fifties, who wore a kind of leisure suit, old-fashioned glasses and a gigantic Santa hat, was bustling and occasionally shouting 'popcorn'. He even once played Christmas carols on the accordion. He told me, that he was an employee of an agency, which had diverse offerings in store to entertain people. But his stall attracted almost no people just as the other stalls.
 
The clientele was mainly consisting of pensioners, some young men and women and disciples. Most of the people were wearing plain clothing. I saw a lot of gym shoes.
 
A large area of the center was rented by a fashion store chain which sold becoming, convenient and also inexpensive clothing. There was also a branch of an other fashion store chain, the name of which already comprised a hint at low prices. I furthermore saw two fashion shops, which were rather a kind of boutique for young and not necessarily solvent people. One of those shops was at least definitely a branch of an international fashion store chain. The clothes stood close together in the branch and I thought that I could almost smell the bulk of synthetic fibres.
 
I don't know, where all those clothes had been made, but I was able to ascertain where the bulk of plastic toys, which were piled up in a big toy store on the first floor, had been made. Most of the toys were 'Made in China'.
  Right next to the checkout counter I saw a pile of boxes. The boxes contained a well-known parlour game, where the winner finally gets a kind of monopoly by dealings in real estate.
 
A branch of a big discount grocery store chain also occupied a large area of the center. In that branch there was almost only plain steel shelving with cardboxes and plain price tags. The prices were very low. That shop seemed to be an important and reliable crowd puller.
 
I also saw several times, that there was a waiting line at the cash desk of a book store. The book store was furnished with attractive shelving. A lot of subject areas were designated. The shop had a nice fitted carpet. There was a kind of reading corner. The members of the staff, which was large in relation to the area of the shop, obviously endeavoured to give the customers good and full advices.
 
There were of course also other worth mentioning shops, for example a hairdressing salon, a travel agency, a baker's shop and three or four shops, which were standing empty. In the end I'd like to report about the lavatory attendant. He was already in his retirement age and he spoke broken German with a Russian accent. He told me, that his son was an engineer in New York and his daugther was a dentist in Ukraine.


Please also read

Places 13

Encounters 6

Please also read Dittmeier's report about a trip to the market near his house in Phnom Penh.

The international poster organisation Loesje has started a project to train young people from all over Europe and Asia in how to organise and coordinate information campaigns about the Millennium Development Goals. These goals are set by the United Nations to fight poverty and to improve living standards world wide.

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Next issue 'The Daily Groove'
on Friday, January 2 2009

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