Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Retail Therapy

I don't think it's a secret that I enjoy shopping. Not going to lie, deciding which clothes to give away, which to put in storge and which to bring to Guatemala was difficult. Predicting fashion 2 years in advance is not easy.

Thankfully I am still able to see my clothes being worn by my friends back in New York via Facebook. Just last month my coral dress went on a trip to Austin. Thanks, Meredith!

But I have since discovered the wonderful land of Paca shopping here in Guatemala. It fills my retail void. Paca shops are used clothing stores, used AMERICAN clothing stores. I am still not sure how the clothes make their way to Guatemala but I suspect that Paca shop owners pay a set price for boxes of clothing that they then dig through and sell. It's like opting for the 'surprise' gift in the treasure chest at the dentist office. Never sure what you're going to get.

This 'used clothing from thousands of miles away' idea sounds a bit gross but, if one is willing to pillage, there are some gems amidst all the stained and worn pieces. Yesterday I found a Robert Rodriguez skirt in perfect condition and in my size! I paid the equivalent of $1 and 10 cents. It has been my biggest Paca accomplishment so far. Usually I walk away with a Target brand clothing item (which there is absolutely nothing wrong with- I very much miss Target) but every now and then there is an inspirational find. Like my Jones of New York sweater that I bargained down to the equivalent of $2 a few weeks ago!

The best part of all this is seeing what other people choose to buy at the Paca. Today I saw a young gentleman walking around town in a UCD sweatshirt- Go Aggies! Then there is the young woman who works in the tourism office and wears a shirt that says 'Happy Holidays' and has 2 bejeweled martini glasses on the front...if only she knew. But my favorite was the day a student came up to me at a tienda and asked me to translate his shirt. It said: "You can't cure dumbness but there is always duct tape" and had a picture of a kid with duct tape over his mouth.

In sum, Paca is my salvation and my entertainment.

I leave you with this song because I heard it 3 times today and it's stuck in my head.

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