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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Spanish Words You Might Want To Know

Qulero montar en su Vespa*
I like to go to flea markets, stationery shops, supermarkets and flea markets when I travel and
Spain had them all!
I even found a thrift shop and they seem to be hard to find...

(*I want to ride on your Vespa)

If you see that STOP. Papeleria means "stationery" and you know you've got to go inside....not just drool on the windows...

And, there was a lot to drool over....

I think Salazar was the name of the shop -- but it was a papeleria too. The ladies inside couldn't speak English (or French or Italian...) and I can't speak Spanish but they were amused by all my excitement and cheerfully went outside with me so I could point at the things I was interested in.
Many shops in Europe are nothing like our self-serve shops in the USA. Things are tucked away in cabinets, drawers and on shelves and customers ask for what they want.
All very civilized but tricky when you don't speak the language.
I've found ways to get around that though....

This is the window that caught my eye. I'm sure you would stop too. I go to google-translate before I go on my trips and print out little messages to hand over to clerks in shops and post offices.
Things like "I am a paper addict and I need all your stuff"....ok, not really....
"I am looking for colorful stationery" or "Do you have any rubber stamps?" on and on.....
and it works! It even worked in a post office in Russia.
Sometimes I even make little mail art zines to hand out...

Tienda de sellos
Stamps shops abounded...I was going into every one I saw until my husband finally got a grip on  me......but I did some serious stamp shopping while I had the chance... could I not?

Stamps seem to be very popular in Spain....lots of shops selling them and lots of stamp and stamp books filled with stamps at the flea markets. I'm just sayin'. In case you want to go....

Los Sellos
Sellos beings stamps!

La confiteria
You don't have to just limit yourself to stamp and stationery shops in Spain...The  candy shops are just amazing and have boxes and tins with the most beautiful graphics on them. I bought one of these cardboard boxes to bring home. I had to eat the candy first to make my suitcase lighter....

And then there are the billboards and religious shops. This is a multi-layered billboard that I was swooning over. I managed to tear off most of the big poster....and the eye......(while my sweetie was busy pretending he didn't know me).
I also rediscovered my love of holy cards in Spain and found many, many santo tarjetas to bring home too....

And then there are the mercados de pulgas (flea markets). Don't get me started.
This is a little haul of vintage holy cards from one flea market. I  found old postcards, a book filled with stamps, vintage photos and various other treasures at the flea markets I went to. The secret? A pencil and paper. I learned how to say "Cuanto cuesta?" and then hand the paper and pencil over to the vendor. A lot of bargaining was accomplished this way, along with a little acting and smiling...

Sorry about the missing accent marks on the Spanish -- I don't know how to make them on the laptop.
Hope this word list will give up a heads up if you are off to Spain. And some of the ideas work in any country.
Have any good ideas yourself that you want to share?
My next trip I won't need these tips -- I'm off to NYC in February and I can actually talk there -- so watch out! You never know what kind of trouble I will get into.
And the Vintage Paper fair is this weekend here in San Francisco -- need I say more?

Enviar correo bueno - conseguir un buen electrónico
Asli tells me this translation is wrong...

And I forgot to say who won the stamps -- I will put that important information in my next post.
Bye kids!
(off to the Vintage Paper Fair)


  1. I really laughed reading your post. The images are so nice!

    I am glad that you enjoyed so much your visit to Spain. Sadly, this kind of shops are disappearing step by step. And they are very difficult to find outside the cities like Madrid or Barcelona. The same with stamps shops. Most of the owners are getting old, and nobody is taking these business. And as a Spanish, I can assure you than most of Spaniards didn't know what a stamp is!

    I don't understand what you wrote about "Salazar". What do you mean?

    1. Eva-- Google translate says Salazar = Salazer. I assume it is the name of shop owners?

    2. It must be. "Salazar" is a surname.

  2. I thought that window displays were much more interesting in Spain than the US. Love how many shop owners cram as much as possible into a window. I was highly entertained by an underwear shop in Barcelona that had many pairs spread out - even the large sizes - in the window.

    1. Oh yes -- FinnBadger -- I love the window displays in Europe too. I don't think I saw an underwear shop (!!) but I saw windows filled with hundreds of shoes, one of gloves and another of hats...among other things. Window shopping is so much for fun there.

  3. Dearest Pamela, you are so generous to share your adventures with us! I love your idea about printing out phrases ahead of time in a foreign language. I also love the idea of handing out zines. Do people react positively when you give them away? I imagine that they would!

    1. Hi Carter -- actually people act slightly mysterified (?) when I give them a zine because most of them have never seen one before....but then they look at it and smile and kind of get in to it.....I gave them to the postal clerks in Poland and Russia and then they helped me look at pretty stamps...they got into helping me....and printing out phrases about what you are looking for really helps.....

  4. Another great post, and more great photos! ^_^

    I think you meant to say something else at the end of your post. You wrote in Spanish, ''Send good mail, get a good e-mail address''. I think you want to say ''Send good mail, get good mail''?

    Enviar correo bueno, recibir correo bueno.

    1. That's funny -- i put Send good mail -- get good mail into goggle translate.....I wonder why that happened....I think I am too lazy to fix it...

  5. Oh my gosh! I laughed out loud at the thought of handing a shop owner a note that says, "I am a paper addict and I need all your stuff." They would probably think you were insane. Or trying to rob them. What a great post. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Ha ha!! I know -- I probably do look like a "hold-up man" at first....and I do get some strange looks....but they usually go along with me in the end...

  6. Loved all of your photos! Thank you so much for sharing! The phrase "drool worthy" comes to mind.

    1. You are most welcome, Cindy -- happy you enjoyed coming along with me!

  7. I love seeing your travel posts, my daughter will be heading to Italy in the springtime and it gives me good ideas to share with her... especially the pre-printed google translate phrases, very clever!

  8. Ah....Italy in the wonderful. You can put Italy in the blog's search box to see some fabulous stationery shops in Venice....don't get me started on the marbled paper.......They have the best shops for paper lovers. And the google translate notes work great too. Tell her not to forget to pack a little art kit -- she'll be inspired.



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