Mercado de la Cebada

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The market of la Cebada is a popular covered market of Madrid, in the Barrio de la Latina. This is where we usually make our "shopping" due to the quality, atmosphere and, ultimately, even good prices.

There is still this feeling of human contact over the commerce of goods and the exchange of cash, by which I mean, genuine people chatting, giving you advices, recommendations, smiling with the heart and their soul rather than with their facial muscles, and with an interest, probably even pride, in their work. This is completely different from most places where you can go, that belong to some corporation and where people don't care about you, don't care about the product, don't care about themselves being there and as a result don't care about anything at all. Everything they say is suspicious, particularly if they can conceal their spite of existence, that is, if they fake a smile, can look enthusiastic and friendly. These then find a solace in a wasted life in a sort of competition of selling as much shit as they can.

Well, in the sort of place that was the Market of la Cebada, and which it has remained at least to some observable extent, you can still find yourself in a queue and not feel like a sheep waiting to be processed, but delighted to listen to the conversation of an abuelo with a poetic fisherman explaining how to fry the Bacalao or of an old lady customer bonding with a butcher sharing how a piece of meat can be taken off out of a splendid ox that is being prepared for a big client from the Sierra.

We will contrast it with another, more famous counterpart, the Mercado de San Miguel, where, this time, business took over completely over the people.