Sunday, November 30, 2008

After Scary Friday

Instead of "Black Friday," I've decided to call the day after Thanksgiving "Scary Friday." The death of a Wal Mart employee , as a result of being trampled by a mob of savages, has really made me question the decency of mankind. What has this world come to? Here in Puerto Rico, Scary Friday wasn't as scary but there were still people who stood outside shopping malls and Wal Marts before the crack of dawn. In general, Puerto Ricans like to shop. The local culture is heavily influenced by that of the mainland, where materialism and the hunger for consumption seems to be out of control. Hence, the credit card debt of an average American seems to be going nowhere but up. This is also true for the average Puerto Rican.

I am not crazy about shopping and I have never understood why people would want to spend the night outside a Wal Mart. On Scary Friday, I stayed far away from the mall. Thinking it would be safe today, we decided to go to the Prime Outlets mall in Barceloneta, about 45 minutes west of San Juan, this afternoon. There was a bit of a crowd but no huge mobs. Most retailers are indeed offering huge discounts and I saw quite a few stores with lines of customers waiting to pay. The economy is in recession but Puerto Ricans are definitely spending. By the way, the sales tax here is 7% and prices really aren't as cheap as you would expect.

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