Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Shopping, but not as you know it

Do you remember "Swapshop"? It was a Saturday morning kids tv programme back in the early 80's with Noel Edmonds. The premise was that kids rang in with stuff they had that they didn't want any longer and wanted to swap for something else. I used to watch but never dreamed of joining in, althnough the temptation to ring in to swap my little brother's weird bionic man with his seeing eye must have been great.

Last night I had an invitation to a live swap, I had to be at Lulu's* at 7pm with 20-30 items that I no longer wanted.

Leslie tries to organise the event so that there are between 6 & 10 people, any fewer and there's not enough bargaining going on or choice of stuff, any more and the evening goes on until dawn - as it was I didn't get home till pumpkin time. Last night there were only six of us as a couple had cancelled a the last moment, possibly not a bad thing otherwise I'd have got even less sleep!

The evening ran as follows; everyone pays 10 euro and receives 10 coffee beans which are then used as swap currency. Everyone takes a turn to show something to the group that they want to swap, if you want it you pay 1 bean, if more than one person wants the item then they try to outbid each other. Not everything gets swapped, a floor length black leather coat was tried on by all of us but no-one quite had the swagger to carry it off (without looking like an SS storm trooper or a Rocky Horror fugitive) and there was a white jacket that was too tight on some people and completely shapeless on others. There were also items that almost brought people to blows - mostly footwear...a pair of wedge heeled green suede boots of mine sparked a bidding war so ferocious in the first round that we decided they had to be put aside and come back to - and even then a deal had to be brokered whereby both parties have access to the luscious boots. Then there was a pair of cream snakeskin (possibly effect, but they are American, so who knows) backless shoes that were so comfy and yet so 'WOW' I wanted them as much as Yvonne did...in the end I let Yvonne take them as I'd thought to get the pair of cowboy boots (that I'd spotted waiting) coming up later, that plan backfired as Leslie (owner of both pairs) decided she needed the boots to go with a pair of jeans she's just paid a bean for...damn! I shall know better next time!

It was a successful evening for everyone I think, I got rid of shoes and clothes that I no longer wear and at the same time picked up some new clothes, a pair of pretty silver ballerina pumps and some new necklaces, and managed to come home 7 euro up!

Now I just need an invitation to a party so that I can wear the gorgeous strapless frock that I picked up for a single coffee bean!

* for those new here, Lulu's is almost my 2nd home, a small (but perfectly formed) bar run by a Manc & a Yank, our venue of choice for celebrations, commiserations and general socialising - we were there last Friday for Princie's birthday & are there again on Thursday for expats night.

Word of the day; to swap - tauschen

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