Sunday, November 11, 2007

stranger in a stranger land

I wondered what sorts of hobbies people had to keep themselves busy in Spain when it wasn’t bullfighting season. It turns out that “collecting” plays a huge part of the Spanish culture, and it is extremely popular here in the city center of Madrid.

Gathered together in patches of sunshine on Sundays, collectors show off their most recent acquisitions and barter to make deals that will make them king (or queen) for the next week.

This photo depicts rabid stamp collectors who have displaced the local pigeon population at Plaza Mayor for a few hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Stamps aren’t the only collectibles traded in these parts. Coins are big, as are soccer, Pokemon and Star Wars cards. Also being swapped were cigar bands, postcards, used phone cards, wine labels, old lottery tickets and comics. I didn’t notice anyone trading matchbooks, corks or bottles, but it is safe to assume that those items are collected here as well.

Not surprisingly, there was absolutely no interest in my duplicate Barry Bonds cards.

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