Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Well, shopping, sort of. On the advice of our friend Paul (who has his own unique travel sense, but likes England enough that he managed to acquire a dodgy black-market UK passport) your correspondent spent a fair bit of time exploring various markets in London. These are mostly outdoor markets, selling variously: snobby gourmet foods (Borough Market), hipster clothing and accessories (Spitalfields), disaffected middle-schooler clothing and accessories (Camden), and last but not least, junk -- or rather, antiques -- (Portobello). While there were interesting items and people at each, the junk market was definitely tops in our book.

The further one got from the underground stop, the cheaper and perhaps more "authentic" and "local" the merchandise. Right near the Tube were touristy stuff like made-in-China-but-vaguely-antique-looking pocketwatches, then some interesting antiques like vintage typewriters and telescopes and a couple guys selling toy soldiers or other little figurines (as pictured above) who took it as a challenge to have a toy soldier in the uniform of whatever nationality a visiting shopper might be. (USA was an easy one, of course. Latvia was a stumper.) Moving on, one could find old paperback books, and tons of complete collections of themed cigarette-pack cards, and for some reason, gauges ripped out of boat instrument panels. Then clothing. Then vegetables. Then, reminiscent of Guatemala, a few blue tarps spread on the ground with some old batteries and random bicycle parts and questionably functional clock radios and decades-old VCR tapes of movies nobody wanted to watch then, let alone now, all for sale at sure-fire bargain prices.

Good times. Thanks for the recommendation, Paul. We have purchased you a random socket wrench from one of the blue tarps, which we will send soon, as a token of our gratitude.


Great Big Nerd said...

I'm a bit of a sucker for lead (or, less preferable but still acceptable, the modern-day non-toxic equivalent) soldiers. Love both of those photos.

MLE said...

When I first saw this photo I thought it might be your homie collection.