Sunday, April 4, 2010

Faroe Islands vs. Fayetteville, NC. USA: Shopping

I made a last-minute decision, and i'm going to divide the subjects into several days, and the first subject is: Shopping.

This is a simple, but yet valid comparison I think, of what features both of these places behold, or at least, some features.


This is something which struck me, when I first got to the US. Alot of things are on a grand scale, compared to what i'm used to in the Faroe Islands.

In the the States, there is Wal-Mart, which is probably one of the most, if not most distributed store, and reaches the widest audience, either on a Super-Center level or a more mediocre one. Stepping into Wal-Mart was like unlike anything else for me. 20+ cash-registers were lined up in a perfectly syncronized line, checking people out, and most of these registers were occupied all the time, when I first there the first time (beginning of December). People were walking around with their kids and families, some with regular shopping-carts and some even in, and this is a first for me, electric shopping-trucks. People sit in these "trucks", and like some mini-scooter, they drive around and do their shopping.

Almost everything is available at this Wal-Mart giant. I mean, you can't buy a house or something of that nature there, but everything which on a day-to-day basis can be used by an ordinary US household, is available. You can even get your tires checked there.

A thing which I didn't really know how to react to, was when I got to the cash-register and the woman behind the counter said: "Hi, how are you doing?". Like a goof, I just stood flabbergasted, and said: "Fine!", not knowing why she really asked me that.

Moving back to the Faroe Islands, and looking at how it is these, is a great difference. The only shop I maybe can compare this to, is SMS. Although, SMS is a mall, with several boutiques and a "big" grocery-store. Combined, can SMS maybe make a somewhat valid comparison to a Wal-Mart shop.

It is 3 stories, where Wal-Mart is one huge. On a Faroese scale, alot of people use SMS. I should note, that while SMS is open monday through saturday, at limited hours, Wal-Mart is open 24/7, almost 365 days a year.

The variety of products is so much more in the US, than in the Faroes, and the pricing in the US, is on a lower scale. This comes mostly from the fact, that almost 100% of the produce in the Faroes has to be imported, whilst in the US, almost 100% is produced in the States.

This was a somewhat mediocre comparison of "shopping" in the Faroe Islands and in Fayetteville, NC. USA.

Next time the subject will be: Infrastructure.


Workman said...

It is puzzling, but you gave the right answer to, "how are you."

Just say "fine" and move on. They don't want the real answer.

I can't wait to read the next installment.

Mike said...

fascinating perspective - i just hope Wal-Mart is seen as a just a facet of America rather than defining it. they are frequently accused of predatory pricing, poor working conditions, and low wages/benefits. i choose to get my tires checked elsewhere.

Renee said...

when I was in college, I taught English as a second language to a girl from Korea. Her teachers in Korea had warned her that, in the U.S., saying "how are you?" was just another way pf saying hello, and that people don't really want to know how you are. At first, I took offense to this, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was obviously true. However, I told my student that when I ask her how she is, I really do want to know...and I meant it :).

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