I first started at Portobello market on Friday the 1st of May, 2015… It was such an exiting day that I couldn’t close an eye the whole night!!! hahaha I had to wake up about 5am to take the train and bus from Surbiton to Portobello road with a massive luggage + heavy duty table (my trolley was my best friend those days hehe).
People would look at me like a crazy person traveling with such amount of weight in the public transport, but who cares! I had literally a bag full of dreams!!!
So once you get to the office of Portobello Market, you check in and wait patiently for the first raffle to assign the spots of the vintage product traders, then they will divide the rest of the road in two sections; the first section is the most visited and therefore the one everyone wants to be on, and the second section, which is not as visited but it’s still very nice on a sunny-ish Saturday… Fair enough, you can only participate on the first section raffle if you were on the second section the previous weekend, that way everyone has the chance to be in the first section every second weekend… In my case, that first day, I was participating for the raffle of the second half, but who cares! I had a bag full of dreams!!!
So, I got my spot, start setting up and suddenly, I need to pee! panic, I never thought about this! do I leave all my stuff here just like that, trusting my neighbor? that random person I just met? Yes, that’s how it works, and I learnt it very quickly, we have to look after each other at all times because we’re a community of traders, we’re all together in this, and yes, we all have a bag full of dreams!!! hahahaha But on a serious note, they all gave a really warm welcome and they were all super nice and friendly people, some more than others but in general, they were all very trust wordy and reliable people.
Then my friends Alejo and Ryan showed up and I was extremely happy to see them and tell them all about it!!! Then Alejo saw my luggage and pointed out a very very technical fault… I had all my shoes in their boxes so I could only fit less than 20 pairs and very quickly told me “Pero Desi, como te vas a traer los zapatos asi?! que gueva eres, sacalos de las cajas y asi te caben mas!!!”, in English would be something along the lines “Desi, why on earth are you bringing the shoes like this?! such a retard, get rid off the boxes so you can fit a lot more!!!” hahahah – Yes, he had a point
So, back home that night, I followed Alejo's advise on taking the shoes out of the boxes and fill the luggage with a lot more, this time over 30Kg of shoes, and the following morning (I remember it like it was yesterday), I broke my back…. it was this particular feeling on my lower back, really uncomfortable but I kept going because it was Saturday, I had an amazing adrenaline rush and I wouldn’t miss it for anything!!!
In overall, Portobello market gave me a bad back, amazing core, strong arms and shoulders and the knowledge on how to carry heavy weight =s
Then I found a really nice room to move closer to Portobello road, it was only a 15 min to the office… I could ride my bike to do the raffle early in the mornings and come back home to have breakfast, relax a bit and bring everything by 9am, to be ready at 10am… Life was sweet, no trains, no buses, no funny looks from others because I was carrying so much on public transport and it was a 15 min walk, happy days!
Every day was super different, you try to read the weather, the people, the bank holidays, the school holidays, to forecast your day and be ready for the unexpected… Rain, street artists, robbery, drunk people, extreme heat, null to hundreds of people within seconds, did I mention rain? hahaha
But Portobello market was amazing, I learnt a lot from all the traders, from the office girls, from the people working in all the nearby shops, from all my lovely customers, and it was definitely a great time in London that I will never forget!
Mind the gap, here I come with my shoes!!!