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Posts Tagged ‘shoes’

Last week Jack and I visited ExpoSaldo in Santa Cruz; a huge annual market of stock clearance items where you can grab a bargain in anything from tights to Toyota Land Cruisers and everything in between.

It was very hot and a bit breezy, which is about par for the course in Santa Cruz, and it felt great to get into the air conditioned cool of the Centro Internacional de Ferias y Congresos building.

From cars to cushions, theyve got bargains galore at ExpoSaldo

From cars to cushions, they've got bargains galore at ExpoSaldo

Seeing the ranks of new and used cars and motor bikes at incredible knock down prices and stepping onto the escalator to get to the upper concourse where the shoes and clothes were, I was already mentally drawing up a list of things I could possibly sell at a car boot sale to fund this outing.

We began our meticulous inspection of every stall, moving up one aisle and down the next so as not to miss anything. So many times I felt my hand twitch towards my credit card as I passed bargains like a hairdryer, iron and electric fan, all 3 for €9.99; racks filled with beautiful summer dresses at €8 each and sandals at 2 pairs for €5.

Its a kind of Magik...!

But as we rounded another aisle we could hear voices, English voices. A small crowd had gathered around a stall where two elderly gents were demonstrating ‘Magik Cloths’. One of the men was pouring water into a glass bowl and then placing a folded up piece of cloth the size of a tea towel over the water which was miraculously sucked up in its entirety. Removing the cloth and opening it out, not a single drop of water dripped, it was just like Magik. All the while the guy was giving a Cockney Barrow Boy-type sales monologue in English with the occasional word of Spanish in an appalling Spanglish accent thrown in for good measure:

“And, as you can see Senyors and Senyoras, the cloth has entirely soaked up the agwar and the only way you pweday remove it is by wringing the cloth like so…”
And he’d wring the cloth to release the water back into the bowl.

Now he had people hooked, they were obviously interested. But with complete and utter incomprehension of a single word spoken plastered across their faces, they were waiting for the key piece of information…el pressyo.

The guy points to a still from a TV commercial:
“As you can see, the pressyo on el television is death” (and here he holds up 10 fingers) “euros.”
People start to walk away assuming that he’s telling them that’s the price.
“No, wait, don’t go,” he says to the backs of the dispersing little crowd. “But here, today, you get not only oonow, or even doss, no, here today you get tress” (and he holds up 3 fingers) for the price of oonow!”
But it’s only a couple of people who have stayed to hear the final price and last I saw, he was bagging up two sales.

I felt really sorry for the guy and couldn’t understand why he hadn’t got someone to translate his sales pitch into Spanish for him. I could only surmise that he’d travelled up from the south and was expecting his audience to have a high English speaking content. He was wrong; I never heard another English voice apart from his. I very rarely do in Santa Cruz.

I hope he managed to sell more of his Magik Cloths and if he’s reading this now, I’m available to translate and do the pitch for you…at a pressyo pour supwesto!

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I’ve just been to the exhibition of ‘Zapatos de Cine’ or ‘movie shoes’ at the

Sexy and sparkling; Samanthas shoes from Sex and the City

Sexy and sparkling; Samantha's shoes from Sex and the City

Santo Domingo Convent in La Laguna.

I admit to having had a nano-second shoe crisis before I left which is ridiculous really because who’s going to be looking at my shoes when they can gaze on James Dean’s or Marilyn Monroe’s?

Over two floors, in circular Perspex tubes, three pairs to a tube, were shoes worn by actors and actresses in movies that spanned Charlie Chaplin to Kill Bill.

Amongst the exhibits were some surprises that shed new light on their wearers. The white boots worn by Luke Skywalker in Star Wars were very gay if you ask me; the sandals worn by Thelma (or was it Louise?) in ‘Thelma and Louise’ looked suspiciously like the sort you can buy for €3.99 in Al Campo every summer; Uma Thurman’s feet must be at least a size 9 judging by the yellow trainers from Kill Bill and Arnie’s feet must be the size of a ten year old’s to look at his Terminator boots.

But some shoes were exactly what they should have been. Mary Poppins’ boots looked as if they’d sing ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ if you let them out of the tube; Kirsten Dunst’s Manolo Blahniks were worth losing your head over, Dorothy’s shoes were certain to take you wherever you wanted to go if you just clicked the heels three times and James Dean’s boots whispered teenage angst in a Marlborough infused voice.

I wondered if, like dogs, shoes took on their owner’s appearance. Then I looked down at my tired and scruffy eight year old Merrells.
OK, time to schedule a visit to Carolina Boix.

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One of the really cool things about the north of Tenerife is that it’s so easy to access loads of the island’s fiestas and ferías. Today I went to Pinolere in the hills above La Orotava to the annual craft fair which is dedicated to ‘that which the sea brings to our shores’. It’s a celebration of Canarian traditional craftsmanship from across the seven islands and has the most fantastic displays of produce, both modern and traditional, involving palm weaving, wicker basketry, leather work, ceramics, pottery, jewellery making and wood carving (and that’s just the ones I can remember). In the stunning beauty of the valley of Pinolere, over 100 stalls surround small thatched houses within which are exhibitions of the evolution of these crafts from the earliest photographs of the islands, to modern interpretations of the art from around the world, like fabulous handbags made from painted palm leaves and a tray made from beer cans ( I know it sounds tacky but it was actually really cool). Dotted about amongst the stalls and the huts, are groups of Islanders in traditional costumes producing hats, baskets and intricate ornamental displays with the sort of dexterity childrens’s TV presenters could only dream of.
In the midst of the proceedings, a large bar is dispensing delicious ‘pinchos’ (spiced pork kebabs) at €2 a go served with little slices of anis flavoured bread and washed down with vino del pais or beer at €1.50 a glass.
I gained a few pounds just looking at the homemade cakes, soft goats’ cheeses, biscuits, sauces and honey stalls that lined the first courtyard and, as if that wasn’t enough to hold my attention, there was live music involving musical instruments from across the archipelago and a man doing things with a spinning top that would have Ronaldhino considering retirement from the professional game. And all for the entrance fee of €2.50…brilliant!There was one particular shoe, boot and handbag stalll belonging to Pisaverde that had THE most wonderful boots I’ve seen in a long time and I might just have to nip back tomorrow and throw my entire wardrobe into chaos with one of their creations!

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