Cats and Theories
a blog by coticheque
a blog by coticheque

Supermarkets and human dignity

There’re certain activities in the world that are demeaning to the human nature. If you want to lose any hope in humanity (or any impression of human dignity), just go to a supermarket. That’s where you clearly find that most people are either borderline retarded, or, despite centuries of inhabiting the civilized world and millennia of common coexistence with others, people are still alarmingly ill-equipped to live in a society. Perhaps, centuries of civilization are not enough to wipe out barbaric instincts from peoples’ brains.

In 2020, a year when you’re supposed to finally take the concept of personal space seriously, people just cannot wrap their mind around it. So remember your last visit to a supermarket. Visualize it. Here’s a woman that cannot wait for 2 seconds until you’re done with extracting a package of frozen broccoli from the freezer – so she would literally step on your toes. Here’s another woman who is certain that if you stand as close to the cashier as possible, it will make the line and thus the waiting time shorter. So instead of respecting social distance, she would just breath down your neck. Or here’s a woman that is studying every available package of salmon on the shelf and is carefully choosing among 10 similar options, clearly ignoring the signs of impatience from the other shoppers. I’m sure you’re well familiar with those personalities and situations, as they’re just way too common, archetypical, I would say.

And this of course extends not only to supermarkets, but also to public transport and even to life in multi-storey apartment buildings. People struggle to figure out the basic ethics of public space behavior. By the way, the same people also have a right to vote in democratic elections. Just saying.

So, many times I’ve been asking myself what’s more preferable: life in an urban environment or in some place more desolated and less populous. The problem with the nature is that it’s meaningless and boring. As Hannah Arendt rightfully claimed, only the stuff created by human hands has a faculty of bearing sense – the man-made realm is the only thing that can present any interest. At the same time, life in a city is unbearable. As we have already seen, what makes it unbearable is the necessity to coexist with others.

A few days ago I came to realization that there’s actually one logical solution here… living in a deserted city abandoned by people! Yes, sounds like a scenario from a post-apocalyptic timeline of the latest Gibson’s book, or a setting of some dystopian movie. Fortunately, ghost towns exist in real life, some of them much closer than you would expect. For instance, the city of Porto. Due to a number of poorly-designed housing policies of the past century and a mishandled economic crisis, half of Porto currently stands abandoned. There’re entire streets in the city where no single window lights up in the darkness of the evening. It also happens to be my favorite town, so all dots are sort of connected now. And luckily, Porto is located in the EU where supermarkets offer online orders with a doorstep delivery.

So save your soul, your dignity and your hope in humanity, and order your groceries online.

And preferably avoid sharing your habitat with other representatives of your species. Move to Porto.

(I hope it sounds like an appropriate promo material for a # Visit Portugal media campaign)

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