Saturday, January 03, 2009

Merceria Marymar

Merceria Marymar in Malaga is one of several haberdashery shops in a row, all with beautiful window displays, treasures of ribbons, trimmings, lace, buttons, silk flowers, feathers, sequins and embroidery silks artfully arranged. I remember these glorious shops from when I lived here over twenty years ago, and they are as alluring as ever.

These are busy shops, customers asking for buttons, yarns, ribbons brought out for their inspection from drawers and cases, piling up on the long wooden counter. I enter not knowing what to ask for - I would really just like to explore all these drawers and boxes at the back of the shop in search for hidden treasure.

I spot some ribbon in the colours of the Andalusian flag - green, white, green, and in the colours of Malaga, green and purple, and buy some. I ask for the little boxes I have seen in the window, containing poppers, maybe? They have in fact hooks in them, but I don't mind: it's the little box I am after, not the content.

I like these old-fashioned looking little things, I explain to the lady serving me. I ask for some cotton reels I can see behind the counter with interesting looking labels. She understands what I am after and gets another drawer full of old wooden cotton reels out - they don't make these anymore, she says. I am sure we have got lots more old stuff, she says, come back another day when it is not so busy and I find you some more.

I can't, sadly I am only here on holiday now.


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