When we used to travel while young we used to admire the U.K. With it’s authentic tea houses, street sellers of farm produce and English women wearing hats and walking their dogs. Afternoon tea was something that everyone enjoyed, train stations with flower shops and local coffee shops. Every station you go to has something different than the other so you distinctly feel and know where you are. What do you see now? Rows of Pizza Hut, Grubshack, Domino pizza, Curry houses and so on. It just struck me that we do not need to travel anymore as the sense of traveling to find something different is no longer there. If you were injected with anesthesia, transported to a country and asked where you were, you will not be able to tell. As you can be anywhere in the world.
Personally I hate chain shops and franchises as it had killed the creativity of the people. You go to a mall and there you are in front of Zara, River Island, H&M, Mango and Max (notice that I am mentioning the middle class shops, not the LV or Christian Dior etc). Why bother go to any other mall? It’s the same and unless you like the waiter in the Costa of Emirates mall instead of the one in Dubai mall you wouldn’t leave your own community. Not sure if everyone feels this! But I certainly feel that I would rather go to france and eat French food and go to Qatar and buy Qatari products and when in Bahrain eat Bahraini halwa and mattai
And don’t start me on cloths. These chain shops made us all look alike of course with a price difference, so two girls walking dressed in COS and makeupped at MAC look the same to me. Also the copying of what others do! That to me is a genuinity lost completely even from the people, all girls have multi earrings to accommodate the hundreds of earrings that we buy from the chain stores. And all girls are dressed in the same way. I wonder about their brains.
Even the Gyms were not saved, most are chain gyms. Hospitals? Chain too, pharmacy? Go to Life and Astar, again chain.
I just want to hear of a country that prides itself for the Authencity of its people. But you know what I heard! The malls will never let you in unless you are a chain something or the other. So if tomorrow I wanted to open a cafe called “when a muffin met a bagel” I will not be allowed as I am doomed to fail according to the Mall owners. People want the tried and tested. I tell you, we have been MacDonaldised and Starbucks’ed
Maybe I am wrong.