If you build it they will come?

I’ve mentioned Guangzhou’s quirky shopping before, but an “outlet mall” we recently stumbled upon takes the cake for China’s odd consumerism (or lack thereof). A few weeks ago a couple of us took a cab to BFE in search of a sporting goods store that one of us had read about. The cab pulled up to what appeared to be an outlet mall and told us the store was here. Ok, seems logical, although the huge parking lot containing enough cars for me to count on one hand should have clued me in that something was amiss. So we go in to find what appeared to be a luxury home furnishings mall (think monster hot tubs, dry saunas, etc)…fine and dandy, except NO ONE was there. The place was void of human life, save for us, the people manning each store (just one per store) and pretty much the four people you’ll see in the pic below. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a front, but I never really could think of a good story as to why a luxury home furnishings fake mall would be out in the middle of nowhere. Oddly enough, they had this gem of a Legos display so I decided this was the only thing worth documenting. So why build a huge mall that no one goes to? And why put a freakin’ awesome Legos display where no one will see it? I have no idea except to say, The Field of Dreams rule definitely does not apply to all cultures, or outlet mall ideas for that matter. Only in China…

Replicas of some of Guangzhou's marquee landmarks
Tianamen Square, in all its militarized glory.
The farmers are happy. The pirates too!
The non-Leaning Tower of Pisa. Nice, but an actual leaning tower made from Legos would have been sweet! Also note the other randars who stumbled upon this place that day.

P.S. We actually did find the sporting goods store in a separate building behind the mall. It included amongst other things camping gear, sports supplies and perhaps most importantly, civilization.


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