November 27, 2012

Flea Market Calling

I'm still here, alive, just doing stuff, more reading less writing, admittedly.

And reading a lot about flea markets these days, you know - the crisis, economy and such. And I'm thinking I'm kind of a flea market veteran which is nothing new in this here sphere of blogging, but for a while I've lost my flea market mojo. My favourite boots and bags are pretty worn out now and they are the best I have. They were all bought on a flea market, and they were mostly from Germany or Italy (enough said). I need new ones but it's a tricky situation in this here little country. If I pay what I can afford and still have enough money for some coffee by the end of the months those shoes will last till spring, hardly longer. If I pay more, well, what should I do about coffee (or rent, or electricity and phone bills, or breakfast, lunch and dinner) then.

I'm thinking of my first flea market visits. Early mornings and us sleepy chasing a cab. Our first half-a-euro scores. It all started when I got a few H&M (no store here, at the time or now) blouses from a very lovely lady, then a Benetton jeans, and Italian shoes and it's when I got suspicious. After a short interrogation she broke and admitted - a little out of town, behind the trucks selling timber, early morning, do not accept the first price and work quickly.
Those were good times. Early morning Thursdays we could hardly wait, didn't even sleep sometimes if it was summer. And everyone had their own special code names for the place, those are hard to translate, but let me just mention that on Thursday mornings my dad use to go to the boutique. 

And the other very important thing about those mornings was the group of people you were with. You could not tell just about anyone about where you got that gorgeous skirt, it required a special mind to appreciate the genius of the place and situation. As special as Tamara's, for example, one of the best flea market partners ever. And then there we were usually the only ones below forty. And we would always meet one of our teachers, whether it be a chemistry, math or physics teacher, those were the ladies with the scariest 80s suits in the school (and we finally understood where those were from).

So, some days we would go there with around 2E in our pockets and got home with bags full. My favourite leather bag is from that flea market, as well as favourite boots, jewellery and blazer. But there is a catch there, there is a trick. You easily get seduced by all the Zara, Mango and H&M, and you get dizzy of all the 50 cent prices, and you easily end up stuck in a pile of clothes that's not really you, you don't really need or want to wear. I suppose it would be same buying bunch of stuff on sale in a moll in a richer country if you do not just pause and think, if you allow yourself to be blinded by brand or the amount you can buy. So, I decided I needed a flea market abstinence period and I got rid of piles, or better say mountains of clothes, at one moment (which I must say made a few of my friends pretty happy and well dressed). 

As some years passed things changed quite a bit. I moved. The flea market stayed the same except the change of location, but the people who visit it look very different now. The other day I finally went there and saw what this economy crisis did to our beloved place. Now among the visitors you see people who, you might think, would burst in flames if they left the safety of a shopping moll and the fresh air touched their tanned skin, and the hair bleach would fade and all the flat irons of the world would explode at the same time... And just so you know, the competition is strong so beware of the nails.

And I told you all this so full of nostalgic feelings just so I can share that I was able to stop the abstinence period last Thursday, thanks to a patron saint and a one month old baby. I resisted all the temptation and was focused and concentrated on what I really need and what is really good and found 4 things that make perfect sense in my wardrobe up to the last seam. Beautiful, silky, patterned pants that will have to wait the warm days next year, but that I searched for long and wide last summer - check. Fluffiest and softest cardigan with the sweetest and subtlest leopard rash - check. A leather skirt that I was also praying on last couple of seasons, well made, not shiny, perfect size -  check. And last but not least two bracelets made of spring that I'm already wearing all the time - super check.

P.S. If you got this far, thank you for actually reading and I hope your brain doesn't hurt too much.


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