On Google, I love searching for differences between countries and regions within a country. Obviously, I have to be careful possibly stereotyping. But, in some articles, I found something interesting about a supposed major difference between the US Midwest and New York city: their supermarkets.
Due to the availability of spaces, Midwestern supermarkets are ridiculously spacious and New York ones are ridiculously crammed. The former have ridiculously wide aisles and offer a ridiculously wide range of products. The latter have limited products to offer and, not only the aisles are much smaller, some of the products are placed on the floor.
I cannot confirm the validity of the claims as I have never been to either place. But, one thing for sure, I don’t find Midwestern supermarkets appealing in any ways, especially after seeing the (supposed) photos.
I do love my space spacious, where I can move easily and any news items won’t immediately cram the space. But, I also believe in necessity. I don’t see why we need aisles which can we can drive cars through. It is shamelessly wasteful.
The abundance of options can be burdensome and futile, depending on the situations.
If l have tried most of the options and I like most of them, the abundance will lead to indecisiveness on my part, making me wasting precious time. I certainly cannot buy every item I like because of health and financial reasons. Yes, even citizens of third world countries can experience first world problems.
If I haven’t tried most of the options, I will play safe by picking the ones I have tried before and I actually like. On some occasions, I will try picking the cheaper options and see if they are as good as the pricier ones; most of the time, they aren’t and that compels me to stay playing safe in the future.
But, I do have a weird reason to not prefer overtly-spacious shops: they don’t have the homely feel.
No, I didn’t grow up literally living in a crammed shop. It just happened that I grew up buying my favourite treats in such establishments. Even the local supermarket chain in my Indonesian hometown of Batam still retain its crammed branches, despite already building newer and more spacious ones.
Regardless of inconvenient they can be to navigate, there is something oddly nice about crammed shops. While they don’t give me any fuzzy feelings, their vanishing would certainly leave a void in my life. They have become a part of my cultural identity.
Obviously, Indonesia and my hometown specifically do have spacious supermarkets, loads of them. But, none of the ones I have been to leave lots of empty spaces. They always make sure extra floor space is utilised. Most of the time, they simply add more stuffs to sell. In some cases, they also put promotional stands.
That’s why I associate unused extra space as a waste of space.
Oh, and crammed shops -the ones I visit regularly, specifically- are not a problem during this pandemic. I was initially concerned about entering one as physical distancing would be impossible. But, I was wrong.
The thing about them is most were never that crowded in the first place, which means pandemic changes little or nothing at all. Fear of the virus may also discourage people from visiting anywhere crammed. Not to mention that establishments in Indonesia -the ones I have been to, at least- always limit the number of people entering their premises. Mom and pop shops which do not sell food end up embracing full counter service.
If I didn’t grow with those crammed shops, my opinion of them would definitely be less stellar. But, I wonder if my opinion of those Midwestern-style supermarkets would be any different.
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