Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine


It is heresy to say shops – of all things, shops – are miserable places in Poland today. “Under the communists all you could buy in shops was vinegar and blah blah blah…” is the usual response. But communism and rationing are gone for getting on a quarter of a century now. There’s no need to be so pathetically grateful for shelves groaning with high-piled tat now, in 2009. There’s a shop near where I live which always struck me with its dismal air. It wasn’t just that in an effort to squeeze as much revenue from the dump the owner had narrowed its aisles to six inches. It was only when I looked up that I realized what the real problem was: the skinflint managers had removed one in every two of its fluorescent lights. The windows were no help either: they had been plastered over with hideously garish blue and yellow posters announcing the name of the chain to which this depressing outpost belonged. Then there was the dairy counter – unstaffed, of course, because actually providing customers with service would cost too much. Like many shops, this one had switched off the fizzy drinks fridges in a further cost and pleasure cutting measure. The producers of fizzy drinks and fridges have met them half way: more and more often here you see things that look like fridges filled with cold drinks but in fact are no more than self-assembly plastic showcases for tepid drinks. Cheap and cheerless.

Comments are closed.