Clearly, no one wants to be in a city in crisis, so the leave and spread out in a country in crisis. They flee and go on vacation. If I wasn’t so busy keeping an eye on things here, I would have been doing the same. Among several of my responsibilities lie that of asking others to see how they are doing. Just how are they handling this imminent collapse? The give me a nice response and I pull out my notepad and jot down their replies. At least, that is what I used to do. Noticing that all of their answers tend to be the same, I decided to come up with a sheet and mark a tick in the appropriate reply. For example:
How is business going?
□ Average (that’s the highest rating)
□ Barely making it
And if you own a bar or restaurant, you can say:
□ Screwed but happy
□ Screwed and sad
And there you have it. Sometimes the owner will give an answer while he has his back to his outdoor café, which is packed to the brim. I mention it, but they always say the same thing. “Yeah, but they don’t spend.”
They just sit there for free? I didn’t get it. There had to be more to this crisis than just a financial meltdown or an economic implosion. We can’t be feigning it. The crisis was everywhere and yet nowhere at the same time. Kind of like government itself. I can’t think of a person of hand who is personally thrashed by the crisis, but I know people who know people, they know others. It’s a long a terrible anonymous list. People treat it like a cancer. People die of a long illness, but never of cancer. No one has any money, but everyone continues to spend the nothing that they possess. It must be cheaper that way. In need of a little relief, I sought that relief in the Tiger Store, which isDenmark’s answer to the invasion of cheesy Chinese five-and-dimes. The Nordic touch gives it class, and that’s what makes it popular. People feel they are in an Ikea convenience store, but without the furniture, or the godawful drive there. They were designed to sucker people like me. I walk in with the firm conviction that I will never buy anything and then wham!, I’ve got a basketful of crap that I could quite possibly use, but just may never. And don’t think that the quality is up there. Sure, some things are all right because you can’t really go wrong with, say a pencil, but that calculator for 1€, but with that cool Danish style, never did work. It only partially functions. In the beginning. Once you choose the operation you are looking for, it reminds you that you are a dumbass for 1€ for a calculator and that the next time you want to be a cheapskate, you should look elsewhere.
But like any good addict, I went back. I went back and came out with 8 euros-full of band-aids, pictures frames, a woven basket to put socks in, and a bottle of liquid hand soap that was shaped like a lemon. It was even yellow too. Everything for 8 euros. I try.
Women often say that they go shopping as a form of therapy. Not always, but sometimes. That is true. I walked out of that store with my bag of goodies feeling, if only for a few minutes, that everything was going to be all right.