Monday, June 30, 2008

Trading Up

This weekend I found myself walking through a park in Florence, wondering if I had enough cash on hand to buy both a bit of food and a shirt that would be cooler than the one I was wearing (the city was quite a bit hotter than I had expected).

I was drawn, by some cheerful instrumental music, toward a gathering of young people. There were a lot of dreadlocks, and a lot of happy faces. There was a table there full of books and clothes -including just the shirt i was looking for. But no prices.

I sat in the grass listening peacefully and a moment later I realized I was sitting next to someone I knew. So I asked my friend if the clothing on the table was for sale. She explained that it was a clothing and book exchange. You just put something of yours down on the table and take something in trade.

Everybody wins. And my new shirt still smells vaguely like incense!

Sketchbook Page: a young horse that was born here a few weeks ago:


Internet Peasant said...

So what did you trade for a shirt?

Annie said...

haha! That's awesome!

Ben Hatke said...

I traded two of the t-shirts I had with me. I mean, actually, I ran back to the place where we were staying (I wasn't far away) and then ran back with the shirts.

I was so excited. You would have loved these peaceful people, Annie.

I wish I had been able to trade books.

Relyn said...

What a wonderful experience, though I would likely have traded my shirt for a book if I could have. I can never have enough books.

La Bibliotecaria Laura said...

Simplicity is best, and it is the easiest.

Internet Peasant said...

So to get one shirt you traded . . . two shirts?

Those pasta-hippies schooled you, Ben. Schooled you good. They may be peaceful on the outside, but inside, they're economic MONSTERS.

Come back to America, Ben. No one trades you a shirt for two shirts here.

Ben Hatke said...

Hold on to your pie-plate buttons there, Peasant. There's a lot more to economics than base quantity.

Internet Peasant said...

That's Distributist talk, Hambone. It has no place in a civilized discussion of the principles of economy.

I'm sick and tired of all your overcomplicated terms like "base quantity".

Shirt = shirt. It's how the peasants have done it for years, and it's worked out just fine for us. I mean really, there's only one kind of shirt, right? A dead animal with armholes poked out. One's the same as the next.

I assume that's what you're talking about anyway.

Bridget said...

Hey, Ben! I would just like to say that I LOVE the sketch of the foal! Brilliant accuracy! Horses are very hard to draw, but you did a great job capturing that moment. Nice work!

Ben Hatke said...

Oh hooray! Someone noticed the horse!

Thanks, Bridge. Things were starting to get ugly here for a moment. Ugly as in "Internet Distributist Debate 2002"