OKCupid’s overdone, intercambios are insipid, and you’re seriously cansada de Couchsurfing? Meetups are one solution. Folks of all ages and origins rally around shared interests, a proposal which manages to simply and swiftly avoid attracting the typical monochromic backpacking/expat crowd. My own meetup inauguration comes in the form of a photography scavenger hunt proposed around a Rastro afternoon. A prize is promised. I’m in.
We’re about a dozen that gather in Tirso de Molina at noon, the majority of necks slung proud with elaborate SLR electronics. My beat-up point-and-shoot Canon S90 is at the ready, though, and I all but ignore the proffered hunting list in favor of snapping a few choice frames in my own style.
Weary white tees in contrast to persistent yellow facades in contrast to struggling blue spring skies.
I got yelled at for this one. It’s true, I took it so I could copy the designs for personal profit.
If you’ve got the time, they’ve got the heel.
I think this elegant guy works here – he looked to be sorting the records.
Gitanerias. Piles of books and records and postcards abound in El Rastro – discarded media from a different age.
What the gastronomically inclined did pre-internet.
The butt end of El Rastro, in a plaza near Puerta de Toledo. We’re talking serious opportunities here, ripe for hardcore combers and bargainers of all variety. I may have negotiated a capricho or two.
Afterwards, cheapo eats and drinks at 100 Montaditos, plus travel tips, official photo judging, and cell number exchanges. I didn’t win, but neither did I lose.