Thursday, 12 November 2009

Time to Visit Vilanova and its November Trade Fair

When I was a little boy, Swedish women returning from vacation on Mallorca or the Canary Islands used to complain about how the local men had been staring at them when they were sun bathing topless. In the modern Catalonia, where we now live, bare breasts on the beach certainly do not stir up any commotion and society feels very secular. Having said that, I am a bit nervous about how the inhabitants of Vilanova i la Geltrú will react tomorrow, when they see my company’s presentation at the Fira de Novembre. I am, after all, selling condoms in a Catholic country.

Earlier years when I have written about this multi-sector trade fair, I have focused on how sports clubs and other entities have a chance to show their skills and attract new members. This year, for the first (but hopefully not last) time, will I take part with a stand (# 110) in the most commercial area of the event, the big white tent in the plaça del Mercat.

It is a fact that Vilanova is the commercial centre of the Penedès and that the Fira de Novembre is generally considered the best place to promote a new shop. True, the core business of my company, Puck Import, S.L., is to market and distribute Swedish RFSU condoms to wholesalers on the Spanish state level, but the premises are nice, so it should be possible for me to build a position as the condom specialist of Vilanova also in retail – ‘la Condoneria de VnG’. In four days I will know a lot more about the potential – little wonder I am so thrilled.

For expats living around Barcelona, I will not claim that the Fira de Novembre in itself is of any interest, but why not use it as an excuse to explore our town? Combine the trade fair with a visit to the Victor Balaguer Museum or La Sala, and add a lunch in one of the restaurants along the beach walk and you will get a very comprehensive program. Vilanova is not as picturesque as Sitges, but well worth a weekend visit.

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In the official program of the Fira de Novembre, the description of my company has been cut down to "Distributor from Sweden" (Distribuïdor des de Suècia), instead of "Distributor of condoms from Sweden" (Distribuïdor de preservatius des de Suècia), as I wanted it. A Catalan friend of mine suggests that this change maybe was not a mistake.

Well, I will not complain. The organisers have been nice enough to print the word preservatius (condoms) on the sign of my stand. "¡Que ayuntamiento más moderno!", was the spontaneous reaction of one of the security guards today when he saw it.

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Technorati tags: Barcelona, Catalonia, Expat, Penedès, Sitges, Vilanova

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