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Sunday, 17 October 2010


What was I saying about the lack of shops to go mental in? Maybe I should count my lucky starts (...and stars even ) and be grateful that rampant consumerism hasn't arrived at the shores of this town. The ,'Y tu? Donde compras?' 'and you? Where do you shop' posters seen all over the shop have been taken down and been replaced with what I predicted, a sign that tries to justify why I should part with my dosh here and not there, there being the Internet, Zaragoza or the outside world. There are about six arguments put forward as to why we should all be shopping here and not there and they are very reasonable arguments like 'if I have a problem I don't have far to go to sort it out and they sort it out quickly' and 'I believe in my town' or 'I love my town and I want to see it grow', or 'I know the people who sell to me and this means I can go about my shopping in a way that doesn't give me a nervous breakdown' and so on. Yes, all valid arguments but in reality we are talking about a 19th century service most of the time or a 21st one that tries its hardest to rip you off. My own Jihad against certain shops has been supported by many locals who agree with me that the owners and staff live in a delusional world. I have countless stories from the natives along with a few of my own on the shocking lack of customer service. On top of this, hardly any shops are open Saturdays. Of course not all are like this and I am welcomed with open arms at the LIDL, Mercadona, Schlecker, Lacasa butcher's, Vilas cake shop to name a few. Yet I am hardly going to go to another town for my fodder or order cake over the web, and I am really talking about shops that purport to be open for trade but receive their potential customers with a frosty air and a sneer not seen since I was bitten by a Doberman back in 1970.The real problem though is the lack of choice or the choice being as I have said before, between cheap schlock and overpriced schlock. This might all seem uncharitable and you may argue 'what do you expect from a small town such as this?' but sadly, the combo of rudeness and shite stock will not entice me and apart from a select few I will have wares peddled to me in other ways from now on.

On the theme of wares, my buys of the decade involve several sheets that appeared fine on buying but had that amazing trick of not being able to hook over the last corner of the bed and so always ended up pinging off. Not an easy task at any hour of the day. I am not alone with the sheet saga as I have stayed at several Spanish households where the same thing happens. I have been battling with a set of pillow cases that I need a shoe horn to fit the pillow in too.

A new shop has opened up on the main high street, 'el coso bajo', and it is called Class but with a K.
Another one that goes by the name of Feliciti, ( Happiness I suppose ), has opened up nearby and it has been given six months by Henderson. I spotted it a while back in Zaragoza and it is the sort of shop I made a bee line for when we first arrived as before the joys of the Internet were shown to me I would beg people to send me tea or books and other life savers. I never bought anything though but just drooled over some of the delicious looking condiments and provisions they have like Champagne marmalade. I went in there the other day drawn by the multitude and was struck by the way people looked at the produce on display like it was the most exciting thing but I had to agree with Henderson as I witnessed some rather stylish bog brushes languishing next to the very expensive wine section.

On a more positive note, the lack of goodies and products needed as I said to get one through life in the least prickly way have made Henderson and myself that bit more self sufficient, a trait I admire in New Zealanders. If we haven't got it we make it type of attitude. Not the pious bean counting make do and mend cult that seems to be sweeping certain areas of British life though. There is a limit to these things and someone needs to sell me stuff. So I will be getting my Champagne marmalade from Fortnum's not Feliciti I am afraid.

Lastly, my obsession with pavements, streets and ramps will be featured here today, my favourite being the pram ramp in the old quarter. I've added a vending machine too for a bit of colour as it is doing a fair bit of trade in the early hours of. An attack of the munchies it seems judging from the stoned bods who turn up to devour its contents.

1 comment:

Mike the Traditionalist said...

That sign that says open 25 hours will be correct at the end of the month when we put the clocks back one hour!