Tenerife Carnival Diary #2, Choosing a Carnaval Costume

Posted: March 6, 2011 in Life, Spain, Tenerife, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This year we decided that we weren’t going to do the usual and decide what our carnaval costumes were going to be an hour before we left the house for a street party. No, this year we were really organised…we decided to sort out our costumes the day before carnaval shifted into top gear.

In the north of Tenerife there are shops the size of supermarkets that are dedicated to carnaval and are full of costumes, accessories and all sorts of things that you feel you really have to buy – like a bloody rubber arm with a gnawed exposed bone.

Living in the best place on Tenerife, we’re only a few minute’s drive away from the epicentre of these.

First up was Popo Import, a treasure trove of a place normally full of goodies from the Far East (you can’t miss this place it’s got a tuctuc outside). The choice of costumes was disappointing but they did have the rubber zombie arms…and legs at a very reasonable €4.95. It was difficult but I resisted the temptation.

Next was Carolan across the road. This was much better and was buzzing with excited young Tinerfeños browsing the aisles and aisles of costumes, capes, hats, wigs, masks, false breasts, penis hats, teeth, clubs, guns and rubber chickens.

Andy picked up a simple black mask here; I was too overwhelmed to decide anything.

Third shop was the Chinese hypermarket. Not only good for kimonos, but also lots of carnaval goodies. Andy bought a black cape and a pair of gloves. My inspiration was still AWOL. The place was patrolled by a shop assistant who behaved as though he was a concentration camp commandant. He aggressively barked orders at anyone with a bag (i.e. everyone), before grabbing it from them and sticking it in a locker behind the counter. I decided he wasn’t having mine and had a counter tirade ready (mostly Spanish, but with a few choice Anglo Saxon words thrown it). However he didn’t come near. I was slightly disappointed as he could have done with someone standing up to his disgraceful bullying.

The final place was the best. La Mansion Magica is part carnaval shop, part carnaval exhibition. Entering is a bit like stepping into a haunted house at a fairground; it’s dark and gothic with displays that can include anything from Imperial Stormtroopers to the Terminator. As well as costumes there are accessories that wouldn’t look out of place at an S&M shop – PVC and fishnet figures a lot. This is a carnaval shop for grown ups. Andy liked a black all-in-one jumpsuit, but there was one problem.

“What do I do when I have to go to the loo?” She asked a shop assistant.

“No sé,” the girl smiled and shrugged. The jumpsuit was placed back on the rack.

It’s essential to consider the practical when choosing carnaval costumes. In the end she opted for a skirt and her carnaval costume was pretty much complete. I, on the other hand, was once again overwhelmed and bought nothing.

The excited buzz in the fancy dress shops had helped ignite my internal carnival blue touch paper. I just wish I’d been more decisive and actually bought something. Still, no worries, I’ve got a few hours left before my first street party.

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Comments
  1. Richard says:

    “Andy bought a black cape and a pair of gloves.” Good thinking given how fekin cold it is … I’d still dig out the ski wear though.

  2. Pamela says:

    Plan ahead the day before. LOL I think you’ve gotten fully into this mañana culture. Meanwhile, I have all of my pirate costume ready for Bourne Free ready (gracias a eBay) … and that’s not until July. 🙂

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