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Camden Market

Writing in the local paper. Local issues with a global take. I never translate literally and the editor trims at will to make it fit. Here's my version, then theirs.


I grew up in my brothers clothes, literally. Im the youngest of two and inherited everything that survived his slips, spills and falls. One thing that drove my mother mad was that he was so hard on shoes that they almost never made it onto my feet and thanks to that, I got a shiny new pair that could easily climb slides every September. Everything else however, from winter jackets to baseball gloves, had seen a few battles before I first put them on. So in a sense I grew up second hand and when I started buying my own clothes, buying them second hand seemed like a natural progression. Where I come from, second hand shops are quite common. Like everything else these days, attempts have been made to rebrand these shops under names like vintage or boutique but at the end of the day they all sell stuff that people have sweated in before you get the chance to do the same. I have never really understood why Spaniards are happy to fly to London and search through the Camden markets for clothes yet refuse to do so here. Today's washing machines get stranger's dirt out just as well as stains ground in by cousins and older siblings. All the same, I was surprised to see the controversy surrounding the sale of second hand school uniforms here in Caceres the other day. The debate regarding school uniforms aside, I couldnt believe that the police had been called in to deal with families trying to lessen the tremendous financial burden of sending their kids to school. In a place where the local police are rather laissez-faire in their policing, their urgency to deal with mothers swapping clothes seemed odd to say the least. My eldest daughter is three and as shes going to a public school, we dont have to buy uniforms, but the extra school material not covered in the cutback budgets of the school has cost us over two hundred euros. One of the main arguments I hear people use for sending their kids to the semi-private (yet funded by public funds?) religious schools is the values that they are under the impression that they represent. I guess the lesson in thrift that my used jeans represented isnt one of them. 





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