Who needs a supermarket?

Corner store, redefined

Most of my daily needs are met by small-time bodegas scattered throughout neighborhoods. The above shot comes from a strip of road between Darjeeling and Ghoom.

It’s like this in much of the developing world, where supermarkets and giant shopping centers are still a very new concept.

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A year-in-review

2009 kinda kicked ass

2009 kinda kicked ass

This past year pretty much rocked. And the New Year came in fine manner.  No kisses, but a bonfire amid the palm trees (above), new friends, lobster, a decent cigar (thanks, C!), champagne and even the Harry Connick, Jr., band playing Auld Lang Syne at midnight (never leave home without the iPod).

I meant to post this sooner, but here’s a little look back at my new life (as chronicled on this blog):

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Essentials: eggs, vegetables and cell-phone minutes

Traveling today, so here’s a Madagascar flashback:

Essentials: eggs, vegetables and cell phone credit

Bare necessities: food and communication

In Tolagnaro, if you’re not a farmer, if you don’t fish, if you don’t work at the Rio Tinto mine, you probably have a small market stall.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year…


My budget hotel room in Paharganj needed a little color; a home/party decorations shop in Khan Market that has gone completely Christmas-themed was happy to assist. If I weren’t leaving Delhi in two days (and it weren’t so environmentally unfriendly), I would have bought a six-foot fake tree, too.

Unfortunately, after one evening, the blue, red and gold lights had all crapped out. I sucked it up and went back to purchase another strand today. I’ll be more gentle this time.

I’m praying that as I’m traveling through the holidays, wherever I stay has at least as one electrical outlet. Perhaps I can decorate a palm tree.

‘Tis the season.

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Ronald and Tommy do India


Khan Market, in Delhi, a new and old city

It’s been more than five years since I was in Delhi, India’s capital. It’s at once a very old and very new city. It is and isn’t how I remember it.

This afternoon, I had a meeting at Khan Market, a favorite shopping center of expats and middle-class Indians. It has all the hallmarks of old India — still loud, a bit cramped, stores and traffic are chaotic, you might get run over by a motorbike and you can spend four hours shopping for saris and bangles.

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Window shopping for a machete

Sharp objects anyone?

Deadly objects anyone?

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Welcome to Wal-Mart…er… Nakumatt

Nakumatt is the Kenyan version of Wal-Mart. It’s everything you need, in bright clean aisles — food, clothing, bicycles, motorcycles, cheese graters, camping gear, stoves, refrigerators, hair gel (the mohawk is going strong).

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