El Gitano

We are many things here in Southern Spain, but politically correct is not one of them. The bazaar markets commonly run by people of Asian heritage are referred to as “The Chinos.”  Likewise, the weekly traveling market which camps out by my house each Monday could be called many things, but it is referred to as “The Gypsy Market.”

And what would one buy at the Gypsy Market? All the nonsense you never knew you needed. America may have the Target dollar section, but they lack the unique charm which only a third-rate outdoor market can bring.

You can buy pillows stuffed with sawdust, slightly used makeup, and futbol jerseys advertising “Barcaluna” or “Rel Madrid.” You may be lucky enough to have a shopkeeper explain that all the men would want to kiss you, but only if you buy the hot pink leopard print leggings.

But the true magic is in searching. The best olives in the area are to be found at the gypsy, spooned up from their delectable garlic broth and given to you in plastic bags. You can buy five scarves for three euros, surprisingly well-crafted boots, and bundles of flowers cut earlier than morning.

And then there are the one euro t-shirts. I adore products written in English, especially when they are essentially gibberish.

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Where does one start with this? Which language are we working with? When did 10335 become a year? And I haven’t even addressed that these are acid washed pegged overalls.

I bought four t-shirts.

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Seek adventure, this says. Adventure apparently means cactus. Having grown up in Arizona, I dare to disagree.

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This is just kinda interesting.

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I appreciate the Depeche Mode reference. I’m not sure if it was intentional.

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And then this work of art says “What up dawg,” with a dog wearing a hat which reads ‘Thug.” Stunning in its simplicity.

But I’ve saved my favorite purchase for last. While it appears to be a typical dress, it is actually bolero pants. Three holes. Essentially, I am wearing a Slanket or a Snuggie. It’s glorious. It’s mustard colored.

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It’s a sign of all the possibilities one can find, in this land of olives, sunshine, and serendipity.

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