The Bhatbhateni Experience


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Figuring out how to feed yourself is, of course, a basic first step when you arrive anywhere. As I’ve been blogging regularly from Nepal, I’m surprised I haven’t told a story yet about Bhatbhateni, our local supermarket.   After a while in a new place, food shopping becomes a way of life and the story disappears into daily routine, as there isn’t so much to say. However, six months into our life here, I found myself shopping one lunch time at another supermarket, Saleways.  I started marveling at how clean and organized it was.  Remarkable even.  Everything was neatly stacked, the shelves were clean.  I could find what I was looking for.  Then I realised that it wasn’t remarkable, it was normal.  At least normal elsewhere, and my usual Bhatbhateni experience had lowered my standard of expectation to such a point that chaotic had become the new norm.

That’s not to say that I’m not grateful for Bhatbhanteni’s offerings.  Its almost the only place in the city where you can shop department store-style (sort of).  You can practically get anything you need from olive oil to shoe polish, without having to hunt it down in the small stores locally.

But, boy, is that place a mess.  Here’s a little photo story of what its like to push a cart around the store:

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This is probably one of the neatest sections in the store. The aluminum ware is all stacked and sparkly. Only one third of the floor is covered with stuff. It gets worse….

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….and here’s an example of how bad. Not sure who thought it was a good idea to dump stuff and completely block the plastics aisle, but I was glad I wasn’t pushing a cart.

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And from bad to worse. This is actually a cross section between two aisles, but is it so blocked with stuff that it looks like a dead end.

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As for the shelves themselves….I say “just chuck it in!”

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If you use the floor along every aisle (on both sides) as a storage area, the bottom shelf gets completely blocked. Then someone will come along and start pulling out everything in front because they cant’t get to the stuff on the bottom shelf. And guess what….the aisle gets blocked even more!

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To really top off the confusion, you must maximize the number of people aimlessly wandering around the blocked aisles by hiding stuff in weird places. Shaving brushes and razors? Next to the orange juice.  Eggs…? Why they are under the coffee!  At least this week.

Come on Bhatbhateni. If Saleways can do it, so can you.

2 thoughts on “The Bhatbhateni Experience

  1. We have in Australia, what we call “$2 dollar shops” – aptly named as most things are that price (or cheapish) …. but they are just like this supermarket you describe. Stocked and stacked with everything you can imagine! And yes, messy seems to be a pre-requisite 😉

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  2. Pingback: Mr. Momo | Wright Outta Nowhere

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