Q8Sultana's Blog...

Generally I can be found roaming somewhere in the world. I'm originally from Hungary, I grew up in Kuwait, I did my BA in the States, my MA in the UK, and now work in Hungary, but still return to Kuwait regularly :o)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bakkala crackdown

Since I've been here I noticed that all of the bakkalas (small convenient stores) close to our house have been shut down. I haven't really looked in other areas, so until I saw an article in the newspaper on the issue, I thought it's just "our" bakkalas.
What I read is that bakkalas are no longer allowed in residential areas. Why?
The only explanation I could come up with is that they might be competition to co-ops maybe?
It's kind of sad. What happened to all the bakkala sales people? My favorite bakkala had at least 3 Iranians working in it (in shifts) and I always had deep, meaningful conversations with them. In Arabic too.
For example: (this is a translation)
Me: Good morning.
Salesperson: Good morning. How are you?
Me: I'm fine thank you, Hamdulillah.
Salesperson: Did you get married yet?
Me: No.
Awkward silence.
Me: But I'm still young. 25.
Awkward silence and pitiful look.


Blogger The Stallion said...

I miss bakalas as well! I'm also guessing that the reason they were forced to shut down was so that the co-ops would get more money! In other words, give the co-op managers more money to loot!

12:12 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger PALFORCE said...


Your conversation with the bakkala made me laugh.

Is it the same as in the states, where Walmart has influance to shut down smaller competions?


12:58 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger fadibou said...

i think it has to do with factors like noise and the ugly look they add to residential areas. They are convenient and harmless I agree but they should not be there in residential areas.

12:59 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger U.E. said...

I've read about this on a couple of blogs now and keep waiting for it to happen in my area... but I'm happy to report that I haven't seen a single closure!! I guess it pays to live out in the boonies. So, for all you craving that intellectual conversation (or a Crunch Bar) come on down to Fintas... or Mahaboula or Mangaf or Fahaheel or Abu Halifa...

ok, enough ;-)

1:52 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger Fallen Angel said...

That's strange!! I have never seen or heard about men concerning about the martial status of other men. I mean, I totally understand if it happens with women...but men....never!!

That’s a weird bakkala if you asked me…LOOOL

2:17 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger q8Sultana said...

Fallen angel...I AM a woman...

I thought Sultana was clearly a femininie word. It ends in 'ta'markboota (thats a wild spelling)

5:35 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger Fallen Angel said...

*Face turns and red and explodes*

You know.....I don't know why I didn't pay attention to the title and thought it was Sultan. This is so stupid of me...I'm sorry and hope you are not offended

5:49 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger Darkholiday said...

hmm this is really awkward having your gender in question.
i hope they don't close these tiny shop in my area otherwise i would have to go along way just to buy a pack of smoke. Ive been to the one in the picture i had a very nice dialog with him in Persian. he was a good man. may his shop rest in peace

2:22 PM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger 3baid said...

This sucks! It's not like the coops aren't making enough money in the first place :/

2:41 PM, April 06, 2006  
Anonymous Tantalize said...

I'll miss conveniently grabbing some Tutti Fruitti candies from the bakala then.

11:51 PM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger 7tenths said...

Hahaha, wow I've been missing out on those meaningful conversations! :P I always did wonder how all those baqalas every 10m manage to make a profit! I guess now with the cigarette tax thing in progress they'll lose 50% of their customers :P I actually haven't been to a baqala in a loooong time; first of all, am conveniently right next to the co-op, & 2nd of all I actually like all the variety! I'm hooked to the noodles/soup section! Or maybe I'm just borderline claustrophobic.. :P

10:45 AM, April 07, 2006  

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