7-XI-2015 02:22:25

The definition of the word differs. In Serbia, a kiosk is not a computer in a box with a chair for a visitor, nor a stall in the mall. It's the classic newspaper stand, though often it sells many other things, and sometimes no papers at all.

The difference is in the pedestrian traffic and where you can get it. There is much more of it in Serbia than you can imagine, in cities of different sizes, and is not limited to downtown. The distances are much shorter, the population density is higher, and the zoning doesn't exclude retail from residential areas.

In the nineties, when the unemployment started hitting hard, opening a kiosk on your lawn (or, far better, on the sidewalk of a bysier street) was often the only way to survive. They started sprouting everywhere, and you could buy almost anything, from cigarettes to condoms to books to DVDs, t-shirts, socks, shampoo, detergents, stationery, milk, cheese, umbrellas, fast food, ice-cream, lemonade, popcorn... whatever wasn't too bulky.

They have been regulated somewhat meanwhile, so it's not that they are blocking your way or that they don't print a receipt (VAT - everyone must charge you tax and print a receipt, a copy of which goes by modem to the authorities immediately), and it's not as easy to get a permit as it used to be, but they are still thriving, though in smaller numbers. There are many closed ones in the outlying ends of cities, being supplanted with the network of smaller supermarkets.