Sunday, August 23, 2009

Always Be Marketing

One of the things I miss the most from back home is the ridiculous abundance of malls. And they're not just malls, there are supermalls, megamalls, and whatnots.

You can spend your whole day in a mall area. Have breakfast in a fastfood establishment, go to church inside the mall, have lunch in the food court, attend a convention happening there, read a book in a bookstore, do actual shopping plus a trip to the grocery, dine in a fancy restaurant, and watch the last full show of a movie.

The mall owners have things figured out so well, that's why they get so rich while the people happily dump their hard-earned money into their stores. I can't believe I miss this strange part of Philippine society. Here in Libya, there are no malls. There is one building here they consider a mall, but to me, it's just a grocery store on cheap steroids. I've seen run-down malls in RP that look like Disneyland compared to what they have here.

So how do Cay and I get get our shopping list all checked out? We've basically come to a routine trip for our food needs. For other consumer goods, we still have no idea. I can't even find a good bookstore here to satisfy my reading needs.

Tripoli has a nice fish market located by the bay, across the Medina. It's clean as a fish market can be, and there's a variety of choices for seafood lovers.




The price of fish is really cheap. However, all other types of seafood are costly. For someone like me who's really more into squid, shrimp, and an occasional octopus, this is a sad development. Back home, these things are definitely more affordable.
It's easy enough for a foreigners like Cay and I to buy stuff here. No Arabic, no problem. Although it helps that I have some useful knowledge in Arabic when it comes to numbers.

The fish vendors are easy enough to talk to. I swear one stall is manned by a former mad scientist and his version of Igor, while another is handled by an ex-PBA import. There's even a guy who sounds like GMA 7's Mike Enriquez talking in Arabic, and is equally annoying to hear.





The mall I was talking about earlier is where we go for most of our grocery needs. It's good enough for us in terms of product selection. They even import patis and toyo from the Philippines.

My beef with the mall is that there seemingly wasn't any thought given to the set-up of the stores there. The bakery sits near the pet shop, that's just by the hardware. The mall lumped together in one area the stores where you can buy kitchenware, Playstation consoles and games, cellphones, jewelry, and clothes. I doubt there gave much thought to the central planning of this buildings interior.



For our fruits and vegetables, it's always a nice trip to the markets just outside of Tripoli. The prices are really good, and you can walk around the stores tasting the fruits. By the time you finish buying what you need, you didn't have just a good deal but a nice snack as well. The only things that I wish they also sold here are Philippines mangoes (the best in the world, bar none) and calamansi.




One of the best parts about my trips to the shops is looking over the horizon as our vehicle passes through the boulevard by Tripoli's coast. It's nice to think that a young couple like Cay and I ended up living by the Mediterranean Sea within a few months of our wedding. And the sea is just calling us to more adventures.


Hopefully, one of these days, we'll cross it going Malta. Beyond that lies Italy and all of continental Europe. On this side on the sea, we can also travel to Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt. A wide world awaits...

Sorry, got lost in a daydream there. But before all those travels, I gotta get make sure the ref is stacked with food. To the markets again then. Although I still hope that an SM will miraculously appear in Tripoli.

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