As anyone who monitors their dreams will know, it is amazing how similar one place can seem to another. Take, for instance, Megaworld Lifestyle’s Venice Grand Canal “lifestyle” mall in the McKinley Hill township of Taguig City in the Philippines. We learn from Wiki that it is “pet-friendly”, and “home to an array of shopping brands, a supermarket, lifestyle stores, bookstores, services shops, novelty shops, and wellness and fitness centers”. In these respects it is identical to the Italian Venice. Also, like the original, it was designed by Italians. It seems churlish to nitpick about superficial differences rooted in dusty old history, when these essential up-to-date core values have been so meticulously set in place. A significant point is that in common with Italian Venice, the Philippine counterpart has real residents, those who live in McKinley Hill. I wonder how long it will take them to develop the embittered sense of nostalgia that original Venetians have. At what point, one wonders, will they start to say “Venice isn’t what it was…”, or “tourists are going to be the death of us, mark my words…”, or “why are all the bookshops closing?” And will there be McKinley Hill equivalents of Canaletto, Proust and Thomas Mann? I really hope so!