‘El Kiosko’ (newsstand) is an integral part of daily urban life in Spain and has been for a long time. This week our interview for the “Talking with Spain” series is with Vicente , who is one of the best known ‘kioskeros’ in Xativa and certainly the funniest.
Vicente’s kiosk is in a small but busy square not far from the centre of town. He has a steady flow of regular customers and is well known for his banter and his dry humour. And if business is quiet he will even invite you to a beer from the neighbouring bar. Whilst you stand at his kiosk swigging back the beer he tells you jokes and anecdotes about life as a “kioskero”.
How and when did you start your ‘kiosko’ business?
I took my ‘oposiciones’ (official exams for the civil service),passed but there were no jobs for a long time and after waiting for a place and getting nothing,a friend of mine told me that there was a kiosk business up for sale. I grabbed the chance and set up business. That was in 1993.
Do you sell more newspapers and magazine or sweets?
Newspapers and magazines,definitely.
Which is your best selling newspaper or magazine?
El Pais (a national newspaper) or Levante (a regional newspaper).
How has the crisis affected your business?
It affects me as it affects alot of busineses. I sell less of everything. Business is not good at the moment but I am carrying on as best as possible.
What are your opening times and when do you go on holiday?
I open mornings and afternoon except Sundays which is only mornings. This year I have had a ten day holiday during fiestas. Before that I hadnt had a holiday in eight years.
As you can see Vicente is a hard working, modest kind of guy but above all he has a great sense of humour and a stalwart attitude to life. If you are ever in Xativa and want to buy a newspaper and have a laugh , you know where to go.
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