I hate big box stores. Like really hate big box stores. Everything about them. Sure they be cheaper, but don’t forget, cheap is expensive. They kill traditions. And typically sell unnecessary junk.
In fact, when I first got to Morocco, I didn’t think big-box stores existed. But now I realize that they do. In small quantities. In the suburbs. Far away from where I live so I don’t have to see them. Thankfully.
But I can’t help but think these types of stores destroy cultures. Replacing the locally produced arts and crafts with made in China junk and other lower-quality goods.
But after talking to people, I sense a desire to keep traditions alive. To go to the carpet souk to buy a locally produced work of art. Or the wood-working souk for a beautifully carved piece of furniture. And buying fruits and vegetables from a market stall rather than in a large supermarket.
In fact not too long ago I was talking about this very subject with two well-educated, professional men in rural Morocco. One man indicated that he doesn’t even want his children to enter a McDonald’s or other North American chain restaurant to keep the traditional food culture alive.
That’s a far cry from North American society. Where children are rewarded with a Happy Meal and big-box strip malls popping up everywhere. Littering the suburbs and even the downtown cores of our urban and rural areas. Turning traditions like Christmas into the amazing race through the aisles of some of the biggest stores in town.
But with beautiful products like these, why would you want to go to a big-box store?
Plus, the service here typically comes with a mint tea. Which more than one can say about the Wal-Mart greeter.