Friday, 4 May 2012

Milanese Chinatown

 Chinatown in Milan isn't big. To be precise, just one street represents Chinatown, but here it is more about the state of mind than about the area,  it's borders, limits or magnitude. I like to go there for a walk, a shopping spree or just to relax. There are lots of small shops selling absolutely everything, international stores and Chinese food. Nothing special or that can't be found in any other place you would say, but no, here it is different, the time gets another shape. Not that it stops, in a Spanish way, it simply loses its relevance. At first it might be annoying because we are used to want everything now, immediately, but if it gets to you, you are saved, no stress.


 I got into a shoe store asking if I could try on a pair of shoes, and the shop assistant told me that they have my size in the warehouse and to come back tomorrow to try them on.

 When I wanted to try a T-shirt in another store they told me it is not allowed to try the clothes on.

 I would like to know who buys there under these circumstances, and how these shops survive. The prices there are a bit lower than in the shops in the other parts of the town and the shops are usually run by a family whose members work and help to keep the business going, so there are no high labor costs. But they have to live out of something, pay for the rent (I doubt that all of them own the retail spaces), pay for the taxes.
How they manage to keep the business running remains a mystery to me.