21st century blues

We are now more than 20 years into the present century. This fact only fully dawned on me recently and it hit me hard. There are people born since 2000 who already have their own children, and there are some buildings constructed since then that already need extensive modernisation…

I spent the all of Polish Independence Day at home. I celebrated it in typical Polish fashion by doing the washing and cooking the dinner. Of course, there was also a film on Netflix, or more specifically, a cartoon about someone called Arthur who saves Christmas – this was demanded by my own little young film buff. I also spent most of the day listening to my new favourite radio station, which only recently replaced my previous go-to channel. This new station spends all day from early morning to late at night playing the top Polish hits of the 21st century, which I listened to while scrubbing the shower clean and watering the houseplants. And then it struck me that some of these tracks were already 20 years old. Can you actually believe that the latest hits we sang at student karaoke night have now become golden oldies?

When I started my studies in Lublin, the finishing touches were just being made to the city’s first modern shopping centre. Lublin Plaza included an extensive food section along with the mandatory McDonald’s and KFC; it had stores of well-known brands, a multiplex and a gigantic underground car park you could get lost in. I remember the excitement of my first visited the mall and the huge impression it made on me with its vast, colourful space. The euphoria soon passed, however, since I walked past Lublin Plaza almost every day on my way to college. And so, after my first long and frequent visits, I went in only when I had a specific reason to do so, which was generally to go to the cinema or do some shopping. Today, the mall is not particularly attractive, especially since others have opened and people have changed their shopping habits, going to smaller retail parks or making their purchases online. When I compare the Plaza as it was to a Warsaw centre like Galeria Młociny now, it can seem like stepping into a different century.

This age gap is also very evident when it comes to office buildings, warehouses and residential estates. When we moved our Eurobuild offices two years ago from a Warsaw city centre tenement to a modern building in Wola, we could see the difference for ourselves (even though nothing will ever replace our view of the Palace of Culture). Can such old buildings of 10 or 20 years compete in any way with the new? I think so, especially given that these old-timers do have one ace up their sleeves – their location. And so, dear investors, managers and owners of old buildings, do not despair. Old age is just a number (at least that is what I always tell myself), but maturity means experience and knowledge.

I’ve not been back to Lublin for a long time, but I’m going there quite soon and I’ll check in on some of my old haunts – I’ll go to the cinema with a few friends, probably to the Plaza even though there are plenty of more modern multiplexes. But sentimentality should win the day, as it generally does for us women.