Friday, August 08, 2008

Supermarket Series III

Why Supermarkets? In my mind they are places wryly sad, but then so is every fluorescent tube-lit store with cluttered and bright plastic and deep shadows; but then, so is Wal-Mart late at night, so is Ikea. The oddity in Kathmandu is in the plentitude, is in the convenience, is in the tension of a store whose value-add is time saved in a country where time is the resource most in abundance. There are clutches and clutches of everything in the supermarkets of Kathmandu--stores that combine groceries with shoes and school notebooks and kitchenware and towels and clothes floor after floor--for the word here denotes bazaar.

In a country of scarcity, they are loci of abundance, not so much of abundant things as of feelings of the absence of lack, of want.

Bishal Bazaar, New Road, Kathmandu

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Supermarket Series II

Why Supermarkets? In my mind they are places wryly sad, but then so is every fluorescent tube-lit store with cluttered and bright plastic and deep shadows; but then, so is Wal-Mart late at night, so is Ikea. The oddity in Kathmandu is in the plenitude, is in the convenience, is in the tension of a store whose value-add is time saved in a country where time is the resource most in abundance. There are clutches and clutches of everything in the supermarkets of Kathmandu--stores that combine groceries with shoes and school notebooks and kitchenware and towels and clothes floor after floor--for the word here denotes bazaar.

In a country of scarcity, they are loci of abundance, not so much of abundant things as of feelings of the absence of lack, of want.

Bluebird Supermarket, Lazimpat, Kathmandu

Supermarket Series I

Why Supermarkets? In my mind they are places wryly sad, but then so is every fluorescent tube-lit store with cluttered and bright plastic and deep shadows; but then, so is Wal-Mart late at night, so is Ikea. The oddity in Kathmandu is in the plentitude, is in the convenience, is in the tension of a store whose value-add is time saved in a country where time is the resource most in abundance. There are clutches and clutches of everything in the supermarkets of Kathmandu--stores that combine groceries with shoes and school notebooks and kitchenware and towels and clothes floor after floor--for the word here denotes bazaar.

In a country of scarcity, they are loci of abundance, not so much of abundant things as of feelings of the absence of lack, of want.

Bhat Bateni, 2nd Floor, Bhat Bateni, Kathmandu