We are not mall-going folk, as a rule. Most of us avoid shopping in general and malls in particular. Our time in Valencia proved an exception to this rule, because the closest grocery store to our apartment happened to be in a mall. But because we don’t go to malls elsewhere, it’s hard for me to say whether the unusual things we found in Spain are just unusual to us, but commonplace to seasoned mall-goers, or whether these displays are truly out of the ordinary.
So tell me–how often do you see a fish spa set up by the escalators?
One day on my way to replenish our supplies (probably of Spanish olives–Loquita is a great fan), I noticed that in a previously open section there was now an area enclosed by a low lattice wall, and inside it there were clear plexiglass boxes filled with water and small fish, set in front of platforms where people were supposed to sit and dangle their feet. The slick signage proclaimed, Pedicura de Peces (pedicure of fish).
The number of reasons why I was not their ideal customer is vast, but I’m almost nobody’s ideal customer for anything, such a non-consumer am I. Other people like to shop and buy things, or so I’ve heard, and the existence of malls seems to prove the point. But I ask you–who finds appealing the prospect of being gawked at by pedestrian traffic in the middle of a mall, while sitting with one’s bare feet and legs hanging in a tank of water, dead skin cells being nibbled away by swarms of little fish?
A short distance away there is a fresh milk vending machine. Having just said that I’m nobody’s ideal customer, I admit that I do sometimes buy things; I have been known to feed a few euro coins into this machine, when we wanted a change from the usual UHT milk. (Fresh milk is also recommended when you’re making homemade yogurt, and I was experimenting with the yogurt maker improvised from the mop bucket.)
What I’d like to hear is your nomination for the strangest or most interesting thing you’ve seen offered for sale in a mall, or anywhere, for that matter. I may not be a big shopper, but I love to hear a good story!