The Big Little Market: Part one – Bras

Algeciras has a weekly market called the “mercadillo” (little market).   Once a week a menagerie of travelling salesmen with tents and tables take over a parking lot at the port.

The fact that the little market is several times bigger than the big market doesn’t seem to confuse anyone but me.

It’s huge.  The place is packed with bargain hunters.   The sellers continuously chant prices to win customers.  It is the only place in Spain I have seen any marketing initiative.

The big market is for fruits, veggies and other food stuffs.  Here in the little market there are a few stands with dried fruits and nuts,

but most business is dedicated to the sartorial needs of Algeciras’ fashion forward population.

You can find costume jewelry,

designer sunglasses (wink wink),

shoes (but that topic deserves its own post tomorrow),

and lots of skimpy dresses.

Look at that colorful stand over there.  Are those Buddhist prayer flags?

Nope.  They are bras.  Thousands of them.

What item dominates commerce in the Algeciras big little market?  Undergarments.

If a quarter of the stands sell shoes, another quarter is dedicated to bras and underwear.  Algeciras scores high on the undergarment per capita scale.

This guy is selling “bragas” (woman’s underwear) and “boxes”.  I think he means boxers.

Everywhere you look there are crowds of people sorting through piles of underwear on tables.

It’s a bit wierd if you stop and think about it.


  1. Very Odd….its like $1.49 day at Sears when I was a kid. Rifling thru the bins to find “just” the right one….crazy. But the colours ooow, the colours!

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