Yesterday I was talking to my mother, and the topic of my last visit to Kitimat came up. My parents lived up there way back in the ’90s when they moved from Toronto back to British Columbia. They lived in Kitimat for a couple of years before they migrated over to Prince Rupert in the North Coast of British Columbia. I told my mother about the trip to the local Mall in Kitimat, I believe it’s called the City Centre Mall, but I could hear her laughing over the other end of the phone before she told me about her time times spent there, “Mall Monkeys” was what she described.
You see, when I went into the Mall with my friend, it seemed to be exactly the same as it was when I was last there as a kid. I noticed many people in the mall, both upper and lower sections had lots of people in it, but something was odd, out of place, when we started walking around. Now, this mall is small, when comparing Malls that I have been in over my life time in many other cities and towns. You can easily spend less than five minutes walking from one end of it to the other, both upper and lowers sections in one go. But what stuck out for me were these people who were just standing there, looking around, staring; it was rather creepy. But we kept on sightseeing, walking around, and then left town after about an hour before we went back to Terrace.
It was not until I brought it up with my mother that I recalled that feeling of weirdness at the mall. She then told me about people who go to that mall just to stand there and people watch. All these images that I had from my recent trip came flashing back. People that just go to the mall to stand in spot and people watch.
Imagine, “today I think I will go to the mall and stand in one spot for eight hours, and watch. Yes, that sounds like a plan for today.” O.K., weird. But what I saw that day did not make sense to me either, which added to the weirdness: these were not kids. In fact, what I saw were adults, say anywhere from their late twenties to close to retirement, standing there, gawking at people as they walked through the mall pass them. They just stood in one spot, never moving, except either to arrive, or leave for the day when the Mall closes, or maybe to deal with the call of nature. I can even imagine that turf wars must break out as some have their preferred spots to stand on.
After talking to my mother, I wondered if these might be the very same people today that she had seen back in the ’90s?