Terrence in his bookshop in Montreal.
“Bookstores, you know, are also a form of community centers. A lot of people come here just to sit and browse and chat with their friends. I’ve had people come in here, men and women who have met one another and ended up getting married, for heaven’s sake.”
One of a series of photos by Vladimir Antaki
“People pay less and less attention to their environment. They are always in a hurry, they don’t take the time to spend time with one another. Unfortunately, these places will one day no longer be around. This is one of the reasons that compelled me to want to document these ‘guardians’.”
Because I don’t have an acquisitive nature, I remember few shopping experiences in a mall with a sense of pleasure.
Our Kid and I used to hike up to Mangga Dua to a particular computer store where we were on name terms with the owner, but in terms of distance and transport, especially the Busway, Ratu Plaza is now a darn sight more convenient. On the third floor are a couple of shops which I regularly visit for computer peripherals because I know they’ll be helpful. There is also one particular stall of the many selling pirated DVDs where I exchange inconsequential chat with a short jilbab’d lass.
I won’t use the other stores or indeed any other mall because their decor is all show, with no clutter to indicate that the staff or owners truly care about their businesses. They’re probably an outlet of a company with a head office and a human resources department.
When shopping becomes a ‘lifestyle’, with no ‘customer service’, then I become a mere passer by. Yes, I do have a local Indomaret, but the only recognition I get is when I’m asked if I need a plastic bag for my biscuits and coffee. And no, I generally don’t because I’ll have one or two in my knapsack.