Searching for Snuff

Posted on September 21st, 2010 by Theresa

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.

Sí, Ehnaf.”

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.

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3 Responses to “Searching for Snuff”

  1. Kiryna Says:

    Andaluz can take a while for spanish people, too. May years ago my father saw a signboard above a store in Malaga. It said “Calpancalá”. He didn’t have a clue about its meaning. He was so puzzled he asked about it. Took a while, but my father concluded they wanted to mean “Cal para encalar” (“Lime for withewashing”).
    When telling this anecdote to a Sevillian friend, he told me about a word they commonly use, which would be “antié”. My friend challenged me to find the meaning, but I hopelessly failed. It means “antes de ayer” (the day before yesterday). I’m amazed even now, while it seems to be really common indeed.

  2. Kiryna Says:

    For the record, when I read “Ehnaf” on the first paragraph I inmediatly thought about FNAC. I pronounce it sort of “afnák”, though.

  3. theresa Says:

    Yeah, I guesses some would see it coming – but it completely threw me! Love the calpacalá anecdote. Love Andaluz and am proud to speak it!

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