The artist and the shopkeeper

I sat having a beer with two friends at a local bar. One is a jewellery artist, the other a shopkeeper. Looking at them both, an idea came to mind.

Catalán and Raul

About 17 months ago, I met one of them near the hostel I stay at in Pamplona. This year he introduced me to a guy who has a small shop around the corner. We meet up fairly often for a glass of wine or a beer and usually have a good laugh—quite often at my stumbling Spanish.

Often, when traveling, we meet people. It's rare they get more than a mention on our blogs. This time I decided to write an article about them both. If I lived here, we would more than likely become good friends—we just get along well.

Originally from Argentina, Raul lived in Italy for some years. He's been in Pamplona for quite a while now and has a small shop—the kind with just about anything in.

He's a Western Union Agent, offers a couple of different mobile phone services and all kinds of other stuff. Raul lives with his wife not far from the store. Raul is the President of Pamplona's Youth Football League and nearly every weekend is taken up with that, plus a bunch of other stuff that's needed.

Raul's little store, with its new front (2016)

Raul's checking some kid who has just come through the door, to make sure he doesn't steal something.

All kinds of stuff here, even though it's in small portions. I even got some totally natural peanut butter from him.

When I first met Catalán, he was weaving together strings of semi-molten silver with precious stones into various shapes. He's now used an artist's impression of a black hole as inspiration for ear-rings and other various bits of jewellery which he sells at local markets all over the Basque Region. He's planning to start hitting markets on the French side soon, mainly the Bayonne/Biarritz area at first.

Creative wheels turning in Catalán's mind.

He hails from Brazil and has been here for a number of years. He and his wife live about halfway between where I'm currently staying and his workshop/studio.

Working on a piece of jewellery

Catalán's stand at Plaza Castillo's Artisans Market Weekend.

Whenever I'm in Pamplona I make it a point to look Catalán up. We get along and even though I don't speak much Spanish and his English is limited, we manage to communicate.

An artist and shopkeeper, both quite different from each other, but friends and I count myself privileged to know them both.

As a blogger who does some traveling, staying in one place for a longer period of time allows me to relate to a few folk. Later my memory is usually of the people I've gotten to know a little and that's better than all the photographs in the world.

The Simian Circles Blog is now complete, no new posts will be made. Older posts are repeated and comments closed. Feel free to browse through the categories below.

A new blog, private membership only, is now live.

Xarma Hostel, Pamplona

Kaplan Hotel, Jerusalem


© 2019, Simian Circles