Sunday, September 21, 2008

Supermarket Nexus of Evil

Where I grew up, supermarkets are separated by shopping centers. Each supermarket had it's own shopping center (this would be the supermarket axis of evil, a separate post) which would act as a buffer between supermarkets. The supermarkets would then compete with each other, which is what supermarkets do in a capitalist market economy regulated by labor laws.

Not so in Denmark.

In Denmark, where the labor laws are so strict that they actually keep the worker from actually having to perform any work, supermarkets tend to congregate in what can only be defined as a Supermarket Nexus of Evil.

Within a two block radius I have the following supermarkets: SuperBest, SuperBrusen, Aldi, and Netto. You may think that I am incredibly lucky to live so close to so many supermarkets, but you forget, this is the nexus of evil not amazingly convenient. They've all decided to band together (hence "nexus") and, instead of competing with one another, not lift a finger to differentiate themselves other than the price of the food inside. Everyone knows that Netto and Aldi are the cheapest, followed by SuperBest and then SuperBrusen. They all have the same type of food. You pick your supermarket based on the degree of snobbishness or elitism that you can afford.

(The AG shops at Netto, much to the DB's horror, because we po'. As soon as the DB will stop hyperventilating over the loss of social standing we've taken through my choice of supermarket, he'll realize how much money we are saving. And I may be able to afford to keep buying the whole-bean-organic-free-trade coffee that he loves so much. Or not, because we po'.)

So how could this nexus of supermarkets be *evil*? Because the entire nexus shuts its doors at 5pm on Saturday and does not open up again until Monday. There's no point in being open on Sunday, it's not like you're competing with the other supermarkets in the nexus! This would not be a problem if Denmark were the type of place where you can buy a weeks worth of food in one go. But Denmark is not that kind of place, despite my best efforts, and continues to be a place where you buy small amounts of food frequently.

And 5 pm on Saturday is just too damn early for me to know what we're going to eat on Sunday. Especially since it seems the DB is going to go through a liter of yogurt every two days.

What is the AG to do? Walk her damn self to the next damn nexus is what. Because there is another nexus 5 blocks away, one that is open on Sunday. All those supermarkets are open on Sunday. One of them is even open really really late into the night. There is no discernible reason why this nexus is AG friendly and the local one is not.

And if it weren't so damn far away I'd go there every day and show my support through economic means. Five blocks is damn far when you are carrying everything in a backpack and two large shopping bags. I'd like to see you carry all your groceries home.

I'm just glad that we don't live in the bedroom community of Feldballe, where the single supermarket is open M-F 9-5 and on Sat. from 7am to 11am. Honestly, when do people go shopping?

Oh, wait, that's right, no one in Denmark actually works M-F 9-5...

Silly me.

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