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Mr Grumpy goes to the Rastro

By Mr Grumpy - Fri 11th Nov 2011

A quintessential Spanish tradition in our valley is the weekly Rastro.

For those that don't know, the Rastro differs from the weekday market, which sells food etc.... as it is held on a weekend and is where market traders, gypsies, petty thieves and the occasional chancer attempt to sell their junk, which the bin man would even have to think twice about taking away.

Honestly, it is common to see transit vans screeching up to the green basura bins early on a Saturday morning, to see if there is anything worth salvaging to sell on their stall.

The Mrs usually bullies me into going with her around once a year, which is more than enough.

Two things usually strike me :

1) That I swear to god, the same stalls are still selling the same junk 12 months down the line (there can't be that much of a demand for broken picture frames and three-legged tables can there ?) and as a result I swear I have never seen anybody ever buy anything.

2) For such a crap market, I am always amazed how many people are there. What is the attraction of wandering round a collection of stalls selling junk - especially if they have no intention of buying anything ? Is Spanish junk seemingly more exotic than British junk ?

Every Saturday morning the Village is heaving with cars parked on every zebra crossing, as hundreds of expats (mainly pensioners) head in from the Costas into what they probably believe to be a quaint, rustic, typically Spanish village. On a good day there can even be up to a dozen coaches laid on.

Everybody wanders around the market for a few hours - hardly ever buying anything - then nips over the road to the local cooperativa to bulk buy their wine, before subjecting the locals to the delights of their company in the many bars opposite the rastro.

You really should see my Video blog about their attempts to pay their bill in the bars >>>

But the tour companies have latched onto this as being a quaint tradition and ship the tourists in by the ton. Granted, it all fell on it's arse when earlier in the summer the weekly rastro was cancelled for the fortnightly Fiesta's Paella day that was held in the same place. For some reason most of the market traders and tour companies thought it most unreasonable that they hadn't been given any notice of this.

Comment on this Blog

Very true. I do remember selling well however when I lived in the coast a few years back. Though, thinking about it, most stuff went to the parasitic other traders at Rock bottom prices - only to reappear on their stalls at a higher price 10 mins later. Ahh fond memories of coastal living.
Gazpachomonk - Tue, 7th Feb 2012
A fair point, however in this instance itis my fellow expats I am having a gripe at.
Mr Grumpy - Fri, 11th Nov 2011
Why the hell do you live in Spain when you constantly gripe about it?
Owen - Fri, 11th Nov 2011
hahaha! So true it's laughable! However you forgot to mention probably the best thing about the rastro... Fresh Churros & Chocolate!
The Equalizer - Fri, 11th Nov 2011

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