Zia Hassan

A Shopping Mall Nothing To Buy

You’ve got nothing to do, nothing to buy, nowhere to go. It’s just you and an open afternoon and the skies look stormy.

So you head to the mall because you figure that it’ll be slow around this time of day and you can order a coffee and write while you watch people. It’s the mall you’ve been going to since you were a kid and so much has changed. The video game store is now a swim apparel store. The book store that used to be there, with all of its comic books and mad libs, is now a high end tea store. 

But you notice something peculiar: all of the stores are like little sets for some improvised play. There’s an entire experienced designed around each brand, meticulously matched with the way the brand wants to make you feel. When you visit the mall, it’s like watching and engaging with a few short works of theater. Even down to the lighting, and the smell.

This is how you know you’re shopping for entertainment. It’s the same with the bar or the fancy restaurant. No need to feel sinful; these experiences are worth money, because they are highly crafted stories.