Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The best of developing countries

Any developing country has them, but they are almost impossible to find in more developed parts of the world:

Can you see how many things this little store sells? And inside the store there was everything you might need from hairbrushes, to cooking pots, to soap, to rain jackets, to needles and thread, to plastic toys, to fake Christmas trees, to... anything! Usually in the USA you can find all this at a Wal Mart type place, which is huge and usually requires a car to get to. The beauty of developing country stores is that there is one in almost every neighborhood. So if you run out of something essential, you just head down the street and get it.

Yesterday, after the whole visa episode, we were walking around Paris (in an immigrant neighborhood) and guess what!! We found the store above! Having no car and still getting used to the long time it takes to get by train to almost anywhere, this was too good to pass. We went in and in 10 minutes found all we needed for the house: clothes hangers, toothpicks, comb, tupperware, grater, winter caps, a thermos, nail cutter, and even cotton balls. All for a very good price too!

I guess developed places also have the advantage of immigrant communities, so maybe it is just a matter of knowing where to look... A. wasn't too excited about carrying the backpack full of stuff for the rest of the afternoon though ;o)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the comment on my blog :-)
    I love these small general stores too! Growing up in Switzerland they do not exist I think the closest to a general store I came to in Switzerland was a replica in a museum.
    In India they are everywhere and yes as you said they sell a bit of everything and they are generally in every street or neighbourhood so you never have to walk far to get an emergency pack of cookies or some milk or a pen or some glue or whatever you might need, plus they are generally open until 10pm or later.