August 17, 2012

The Neighborhood Dikkaneh IX

Another ‘must have’ for the neighborhood dikkaneh is the canary (Here shown on the upper left side of the store). The bird  is brought out in the morning and hung on a nail on the side of the shop front where it sings all day to high heaven, and is brought back in again at night, where it spends a quiet night between the bags of dried hommos and laundry detergent.

The bird, the basket, and the lady who controls the basket. This particular dikkaneh has featured before, but I couldn't catch the basket then.

And then there is of course the basket! A wicker basket, woven locally, hanging from a rope, and controlled by an upstairs neighbor who needs a bag of sugar, or a couple of eggs. Why walk down when Abu Ali, or Abu Jean, can place it in the basket. The item is placed on their account. Most neighbors have an account at the dikkaneh.

Sietske is not in Beirut at the moment, but on her annual ‘Trek to the Motherland’. She leaves you every Friday with a typical Lebanese neighborhood ‘dikkaneh’, also called mini-market. They are all situated in Beirut. The exact road & neighborhood are indicated on the picture itself. These little stores have all disappeared in Holland; fallen victim to the big supermarket chains. But here in Beirut, we still have them. This is number 9 in a series of 12.  Enjoy, while I enjoy my holiday.

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