Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Shoe Museum

There's a shoe museum in Elda. It's not surprising; shoes were big business along the valley of the Vinalopó. They still are but, as you might imagine the industry has taken a battering from the Chinese.

There are often pieces in the local papers about Chinese firms based here importing shoes from China and then bunging them in boxes marked "Made in Spain" before shipping them all over Europe with names that sound Spanish or International. Stories about counterfeiting of branded shoes abound. Spanish workers regularly march around with banners or go in coachloads to Madrid and dump shoes in front of Government buildings.

Anyway, ther's a shoe museum in Elda. It's a big building, a modern and quite impressive building with interesting displays as I remembered and I hadn't been there for a while. So when I went to Elda to sign on yesterday I thought I'd have another look around.

I've been here in Spain a while now and lots of things that used to phase me no longer do. So, when I had to ring a bell to get into the museum I wasn't surprised. The bloke on the intercom said the door should be open, hang on he'd ring the woman on the information desk and get her to open the door. She came and opened the door.

"Yes, what do you want?"
"I'd like to have a look around the museum"
"Oh, right, come on in then"

I lounged on the counter looking through some leaflets whilst she shuffled some papers, looked around a bit and eventually picked up a walkie talkie.

"I need to find the caretaker to turn on the lights"
"Oh, if it's a bother I can go and get a coffee and come back in half an hour"
"That's not such a bad idea, why not do that?"

So I did and whilst I was having a coffee Maggie phoned me and set me a task that meant that I never got back to the shoe museum.

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