Smart Convenience Stores

I was wondering today about a diet program I am following. It is working fine and helping me a lot. However, this post is about the services offered and not the diet. I just recognized that the model followed resembles how business in the knowledge age will look like. You pay for buying smart items based on knowledge. Let me elaborate.

Grocery StoreIn my younger years, my mom used to send me to buy her groceries from the convenience store next door. The owner was an illiterate person who uses his own signs and doodles to keep track of his account. His only expertise was knowing what price to tag the food based on the hour of the day to avoid spoiling them. He would talk about politics, who had a fight in the neighborhood and maybe what ingredients a recipe needs. Simple man.

In modern days, this has changed. The diet shop is an example. The lady who is running the shop is well versed with nutrition and diets. She gives advice and suggests eating programs based on who you are. Her advice and time is free. She makes her money from selling the right food that suits the customer nutritional needs and diet. Every thing you expect to find in a traditional convenience grocery: Eggs, Soups, desserts, sweet bars, drinks, condiments… Except that the seller is knowledgeable. Her advice is free, but you pay for the products she sells!

What an evolution. Nice merger between making money from selling products and selling knowledge and information. How will this merger be applied in other business areas? Hair cutting? Banking system? Above all, in the classroom? Something to ponder upon.

Memories: Our House on the Roof

My Roof
My impressions of the roof house

When I was a little kid, my parents had a house on the roof of my grandfather’s building. It was made up of one bedroom, one living room, one dining/sitting room. And a large outer space which extends to the rest of the roof. It was separated by the living room with a wide glass facade. My parents converted this outer space into a garden and a swimming pool. Yes, a swimming pool on the roof of my grandfather’s 4 story building.

The swimming pool side was very beautiful. When you are sitting in the dining room, facing the outside wall, you enjoy the sight and sound of a water fall. It was built by my father. You switch on the power, and water falls continuously. It was build with hollow volcanic rocks. The water falls from the top to a small pod surrounded with similar rocks that prevents the water from flooding to the swimming pool. On the other three sides of the swimming pool, a low flower basin carries different types of plants, shrubs and trees. I still remember my mother spreading few artificial, real looking birds, on the short trees. Before my brother was born, my dad used to fill the pool for me and I swam regularly in it. He used to fill it up to one foot deep only. He used to say that more water would make the building collapse. I believed him. I swan on it like a dead fish, facing down, my stomach would hit its bottom and my back was not even covered with water. My mom used tp like feeding us outside. I am fond of these days. Then my brother was born and my dad stopped filling the pool with water. We just enjoyed the water flowing from the waterfall. But the noise of the pump was bit annoying.

Another thing I remember of this open space in the roof is the breathtaking views. Our building was the highest in the neighborhood before 1960. From the west, we would see the Mediterranean sea with its heavenly sunsets throughout the year. I still remember its orangy shadows hitting the east side of our walls reminding me that the time for sleep is soon. On the north side of the roof, you would see the mountains of Lebanon. Far away, always covered with the white top throughout the year.

Riz2allah!

Below I plotted its present location on Google Earth.

 

View Aboluay Memory Spots in a larger map

 

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Memories: My Parental Grandpa and his garden

I have decided today to move my personal memories from my blogger site to here. I do not know really why? I should one day.

Today, I want to talk about my parental grandpa. The last time I had a major interaction with him was when I was 10 years old. I did not have any major interaction with him until he passed away when I was 22 years. He was 85 or so.

My memory reminds me that everybody loved him. Everyone said he was funny and light hearted person. I did not feel that when I was young. He always ignored me. I felt he favored my other cousins, especially my aunts children. Most my direct interaction with him were negative. Either telling me I am not doing something right, ask me to do a tough chore, or criticizing something I am doing. The only positive memory is when I hard him telling my father that my white skin will make me a successful doctor. They kept talking about me for around 5 minutes and how I will heal people the moment they see. Then he called me and said: “When you grow up, you must become a doctor. You should start reading all medicine xxx”. And he gave me a bunch of them. If I did not hear him complementing me, I would have thought he was punishing me by forcing me to read these xxx!

My indirect interaction with him were lighter. I still remember when we sit around the table with the large family and crack all these jokes. I did not understand them. But everyone was continuoulsy laughing around the table. This gave me a positive feeling. The only joke I still remember it is his saying: “Money is not yours, what is yours is what your mouth own. When you eat, praise the lord”. It rhymed beautifully in his language. It was like a prayer before eating. It was fun.

The other found memory of him is seeing him working in his garden. Since I was living in the city, this memory is the only experience I have about nature. I admire him for giving me this chance. I remember him taking care of every single plant, flower, tree or pieace of grass. Once he allowed me to water a tree. I was around 7. For me, it was boring. So I played with the hose to make the water dance. Obviously he shouted at me forcing me to stop playing and focus on water the tree. I remember he had different set of roses. I loved their smell. I like to go there, pull down the stem to reach down my nose. Inhale strongly so the smell fells my lungs and give me refreshing strength. You guessed it. He will shout at me because I might break it.

Other fond memory about him was during the festivities. He would come to our house and give us money. the moment he walks in, the whole house will become filled with laughter and joy. He was a man who can set the mood. I still remember his bedroom which had a huge mirror attached to a beautiful antique dresser where many items were placed there. One of them contained caramel drops. I used to be thrilled when he gives me one piece. Although I did not know how to eat it until I was 7! I used to think it is a chewing gum and try hard to break it with my teeth instead of sucking it. I can blame my week teeth this incident.

Another memory about him when I was older… maybe aroung 16. When my family talked about his walks. He take 2 pounds of orange and walks all around the city eating these oranges. He ends the day on the beach where he watches the sunset. Then go back home.

I know about his death when I was reading the newspaper. I went directly to my grandma and spend few days with her. She was strong. She told many stories about him.

The last story I heard about him was 3 years ago, when my uncle told me what happened at his death bed. My uncle said that my grandfather held his hand and whispered: “Love Each Other!”. Then he passed away. My uncle still writes this phrase at the end of every email he sends me.

Jido Abousohail, that was his name, had a lot of impact on my life. Ala yerhamou.

Jido Abo Souhail in His Garden
My grandpa, in his garden with my sister (in the middle) and my grandma (on the right)

 

لم تنظر لي الحفيد الخاصة. شعرت أنه كان لطيفا مع أكثر

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