Saturday, November 18, 2006

No. 7, Minquan Road, Lane 237?

Looks like Minquan Road, Lane 237 (民權路237巷) is now Dahe Road (大和路). Anyway, that's what the clerk at the check-in desk at the Yadian Commercial Hotel (雅典商務旅館) on 3 Dahe Rd. told us. (She was very helpful even though we didn't want a room.)

So from what we could gather, the Japanese-style house that used to be at No. 7 is now this:

(A parking lot, that is, not a car.) Oh well...

(Note to self: one of these days I ought to standardize my romanizations...)


Anonymous said...

Clyde Said:

So, it was you who was responsible for the ginger cookies always going missing when I went to Tesco! Damn you Jonathan, I've got your number now.

I wouldn't hold out too much hope for the Carrefour import plan. Our research shows that one of Tesco's big problems was moving a lot of that imported stuff they had. Ginger cookies are a good example. After my kids saw how crazy I was for them they of course couldn't resist trying (the kids had to pry the snacks out of my hands though). After a single byte however, I got the cookies back all for myself and the kids renamed the ginger cookies DIRT COOKIES.

Tesco experienced a very loyal, although small, base of customers, but they assumed there was an upward mobile society in general that would "move up" to the next level of "advanced retailing." That big assumption of modernity falls flat on its face in nearly any culture, but especially here (outside Taipei I mean). RT Mart rules, wet markets are packed, and supermarkets are on nearly every block (don't even mention the 7-Elevens). Carrefour's big advantages that keep it ahead are huge savings on the purchases and their efficient logistics. I suspect after getting some imports in, and finding they make things more expensive and not many are buying, that plan will fade. The name of the game in Chinese retailing is localization and low price.

Ah, but I do miss my dirt cookies. And could I but dream of Diet Dr. Pepper? Let's not give up hope.

Jonathan Benda said...

Dirt cookies--ha ha! I like that. Let 'em hate them.. that way there's more for me... well, it didn't work that way, actually. As you suggest, "upwardly mobile" shouldn't be confused with Westernized...