I noticed that a lot of shops there had either moved away or were closed down recently. One reason could be due poor business. (Read on - I soon found out that there was another more likely reason.) Customers seemed to prefer visiting shopping centres in another nearby town.
Some examples of outlets in the shopping centre which had closed down:
Immediately after I took the bottom right photo, a shopkeeper came out from the adjacent shop and confronted me. Obviously she
Shopkeeper: Do you have permission to take photos here?With that she turned around and walked briskly back into her shop. Now, I was not afraid of the security guard but ever since I left National Service, I never followed orders barked out to me that way. So I also turned around and walked briskly away.
Me (quoting the good-to-use line from Kenny Sia): Is there any sign that says I can't?
Shopkeeper (sensing that my English is quite powderful): It's implicit.
Me: And do you have permission to intervene?
Shopkeeper: You stay here! I am calling the security guard.
While making my getaway, I saw this sign posted outside a lift in the shopping centre:
Oh, so what I did was considered 'suspicious behaviour'? What was the shopkeeper thinking? Did I look like a txxxxrist who was taking photos with intention to bxxb the place? Even if I were, I wouldn't have chosen a shopping centre so devoid of human traffic, would I? Couldn't I be a potential customer who was only trying out a digital camera on sale there? What's the use of a camera if I can't even take photos of something as inanimate as a closed shop? And if I had always asked the rightful owner for permission to take photos, do you think you will get to see all the interesting photos on my blog? Fat chance okay. What is a camera for anyway? To take family snapshots or make stars of of ourselves in
Now, the real reason why this shopping centre was suffering a diminishing crowd of shoppers must be due to hostile and overly suspicious shopkeepers. Incidentally, the shopkeeper's shopname was 'Moods' and she must have been in a bad one that day considering that her shop had no business. Especially to Chun See - considering the circumstances, I am willing to forgive and extend the olive branch to her, that is if I ever step into that shopping centre again and her shop is not closed down by then.