August 31, 2012

The Neighborhood Dikkaneh XI

Some neighborhood dikkanehs, infused by a spurt of youth or money, will modernize, and you will see fancy refrigerators outside, and the owners create some kind of aisle system through which you can maneuver. This, in general, does not last long. Because with more space, they automatically expand their assortment, and before you know it, the aisles are packed (again) with boxes of produce, bags of something, and we’re back to the usual set-up; The owner knows where all the items are, and you just state what you need, and he gets them and place them on the ‘counter’ (which is either that old desk, or on top of other merchandise). The items go home in a black plastic bag. You never buy much at a local dikkaneh, since you usually go there every day anyway, or even several times a day.

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 11 in a series of 12. The next one will appear tomorrow though, I sort of 'had' it with my holidays.