I have have grown up spending my weekends and school holidays the same way for years! Always a choice of deciding which shopping centre to go to today. Even these days (and I know fully well I am not alone) that people when planning what to do on Saturday, Boxing Day and now Easter Sunday will choose what shopping centre to visit.
Contrast this with Europe (Central and Eastern Europe to be more precise) where stores and shops are generally closed from mid-day Saturday and all day Sunday. What do they do instead? Go for a bike trip, long walk, cook, spend time in their gardens, hiking, BBQs, tennis.
The lifestyle is based around enjoying the outdoors, being with family and it doenst always include shopping and submitting to consumerism like individuals and families do here.
I remember hanging out with friends at the local shopping centre, walking aimlessly around, buying fast food and buying clothes and accessories. What has changed these days? They now also look at the latest Xbox or Wii games.
The Europeans (well some of them) lead more healthier and organic lives and lack the obesity troubles other western countries have. They enjoy their country and don't spend every waking moment spending! So many of Australia's health and financial woes would be solved if people just spent a few hours enjoying the great outdoors!
(Photo from: http://footloosetravelguides.com/czechtours/Estergomr.JPG 17/03/09)