Having treated myself to a guitar a few weeks ago, I finally made it down to the shop that the guy I bought it from had recommended.
It was an experience. It was a proper guitar shop! Dark, dusty and filled with half-built guitars that the owner makes himself. He's about 150 years old and, needless to say, speaks no English. In I marched, completely unprepared, ready to get a case, some new strings and theoretically to ask him to replace one of the tuning heads at some point.
After much gesticulating, the case was easy enough though it took many repetitions of "menos cara" til I got the cheapest one he sold. The strings should have been easier but turned out to be more difficult. Had I spotted the big display of them under the dusty counter I could have pointed, but the charades were much more fun. The tuning head I just couldn't fathom at all. He got what the item was that I was on about, but trying to explain that I wanted to take the guitar in and get him to fit it, failed dismally. He got a huge box of tuning heads out and I just bought one to get it over with! By this point, his equally ancient wife/assistant had come out from the back room (where presumably they hide the bodies) to "help". Debbie was finding the whole thing very entertaining.
In all the excitement I completely forgot to buy a capo, so a few days later, I had to go back in there on my own. As soon as I walked through the door, he said "Ah, hola, .........." something else very fast in Spanish! Then he shouted to his wife "That English girl's here again". I don't know if he just assumed I wouldn't understand cos my Spanish had been so appalling the first time. Still, I got a capo and a very big smile out of both of them!
It was just as well I didn't ask to give one of his handmade guitars a try, cos I'm sure I would have had to buy it!
Now I just need my huge stack of music sent over from the UK and I'm sorted.