Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Retail Therapy, San Isidro
I love the eclectic nature of these types of shops. Across the road we stumble on another that falls into this range: the papeleria. A shop that sells all things paper and paper related items. Crepe paper and cartridge paper, paper napkins and paper plates, photocopying paper by the ream. Parcel tape and duct tape, braids and ribbons, ball-points and fountain nibs, inks and paints, string in every colour, strength and length. However we’re on the hunt for writing paper. I need to perform an archaic, antiquated act: hand write, in ink on paper, a letter, enclose it in an envelope, then attach an adhesive stamp. Occasionally I need to reaffirm my iconoclastic, luddite credibility. I can have a jotter in spiral back, cloth back or hard back, ruled, squared or plain, any colour any size, but no, they don’t have any Basildon Bond.. An envelope for the same? Yes, we have plastic, padded and cardboard, but sorry, no paper ordinary. It’s an interesting commentary on just how far society has progressed along the communications expressway. One can only wonder what the great letter writers and essayists of the 18th century Enlightenment would have made of the speed with which the pen and paper has been abandoned.. Lost to posterity are any hard copies that might be of use to future biographers, historians or anthropologists. If you doubt this, consider the fact that the Domesday Book of 1096 still exists, whilst it’s equivalent of 1996 is 80% unreadable, or lost in the ether. Therein lies this strange dichotomy; all this paper yet no one writes letters. This shop is not unique, far from it; we’ve found them everywhere, even in the smallest of towns, places that struggled to serve up provisions for an evening meal. You might wonder how they survive, but any we’ve passed, all appear to be thriving, always with customers coming and going.
So now we are armed with two plastic cups, a tattie peeler and three new retail experiences. Later, we were to return for the tablecloth so as to satisfy the bus company’s baggage requirements. An interesting interlude for a morning. A whole morning.