When I first arrived in Oulu, I looked around for a bakery. There is
none. In the whole city-of-120,000-Oulu there is no retail bakery. Or
butcher. Or fruit and vegetable grocer. There is just the supermarket.

Supermarkets can tell you a lot about a place. English supermarkets
have rows of biscuits. Portuguese supermarkets have rows of salami and
sausage. US supermarkets have rows of frozen foods. But what does it
tell you about a place if supermarkets are all there is?

We shop at the K chain. Just as Tesco and Coles may use the “metro” tag
for its smaller stores, the K chain has the K system – K for the corner
store, KK for a suburban store, KKK for a supermarket in the city, and
K city market for the hypermarket outside the city centre. But it’s
still quite disconcerting when you drive into Oulu and see a huge KKK
sign in flashing lights in the main street.

Read the rest of Therese’s story on the site here.

Peter Fray

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