Have you heard about the new tienda de informática called Snuff? Bit of a weird name, I know, but there you go. In Málaga, of course, it’s pronounced something like ‘Ehnaf’ or even ‘Ehnah’. Which is where this story starts.
I was in the electronics store Worten – to say it right in Spanish screw your mouth into a tight ‘w’, suck your cheeks right in and release slowly – looking at the netbooks. None of the models they had in stock convinced me so I asked the chatty assistant where else I could go. The Corte Inglés, we agreed, tended to be expensive, PC City – Peh Theh Thity – crap, Media Markt not much better. Carrefour, I also pointed out, was a complete waste of space as there were always at least 900 customers milling around the informática desk waiting to be attended by just the one know-nothing-about-informática shop assistant.
“I’ve got it,” he said, “in the city centre, there’s a new place called Ehnaf”? Near the Corte Inglés.”
“Snuff? I mean, Ehnaf?” I echoed, face screwed into an ironic question mark.
“Is it a small place?” (I imagined a poky hole-in-the-wall in brutal black and red run by the comic shop owner in the Simpsons.)
“No, it’s really big.”
How had I missed that? I gave a little laugh, “Strange name for a shop.” He smiled back, knowingly – or so I imagined. He was young, probably spoke good English, must know what a snuff movie was. I thanked him and headed off. In search of a computer shop whose owners either had a sick sense of humour or were unfamiliar with the seedier side of the English language.
The Corte Inglés is pretty big and there are two buildings. I asked a couple of random passers-by if they’d heard of Snuff – pronouncing it in my best Andaluz accent, Ehnaf / Ehnah, whatever. No-one could help. I tried a long-haired lad walking a Scottie dog. Must live locally, must be into computers, must know the shop. After all, it was a BIG shop.
“Sorry,” he said, “doesn’t ring any bells. Why don’t you ask in El Corte Inglés?
So I did, first checking out their netbooks in the Informática section just in case. This time when I approached the 3-piece suited assistant (who looked like he’d be more at home in the haberdashery department of Grace Brothers*), I was in luck.
He thought for a moment. “Yes, Ehnah, it’s behind the main building in Málaga Plaza.”
Great. Málaga Plaza, a small shopping centre that I hadn’t set foot in for donkeys years.
Through the double doors I walked, and there it was. The penny dropped. Top floor, bottom floor, taking up loads of prime real estate, that very well-known Virgin-like mega-store in Spain, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Greece, and above all, France: FNAC.
Oh yes, Andaluz can take a while.
*From the 70s sitcom Are you Being Served, which was set in an antiquated department store.