A Visit To The Venta De Repuestos

Venta de Repuestos (and guard dog)
Not long after finding spare shoelaces in the local market near our apartment, my wife asked me to fix her rolling backpack. The bag, an Eagle Creek Switchback 25, had a telescoping handle that had decided to stop telescoping. I took it apart and found a small part that had broken inside the pack. I needed a fairly thin nut and bolt to secure it so that it would again function properly. After a few failed attempts at finding the right part at some local ferreterias (hardware shops), I decided to check out the group of shops down the street where I found my spare shoelaces.

I walked down to the corner and walked straight to number 9, the Venta de Repuestos (spare parts shop). The shop was like all the others: rusty, corrugate-tin roof, fading blue paint, hand-painted sign, very cramped and parts strewn everywhere inside. This shop had something the others didn’t: a watchdog. I thought about petting him, but up close he looked scarred and mangy -- signs of aggressiveness and disease – so I gave him a wide berth.

The proprietor greeted me and I showed him the broken bolt and I asked if he had something similar. He started looking around his tiny shop, moving aside fuses, screws, coils of wire, gas canisters, bolts, clamps and nails. The interesting thing about his shop was that there did not seem to be any rhyme or reason to his merchandise assortment.  It was if each of the parts in his shop arrived there via some unique circumstance and not ordered from a parts catalog.  The shop was about 8’ x 4’ and it did not take him long locate a nut and bolt that looked like it fit my needs. I held it up to my broken bolt and it looked like a match. I got home and used the new bolt to fix the telescoping handle. My wife had her backpack fixed and I felt good about using a local resource for the solution.


  1. Great story i really enjoyed it....Finally you get replaced the broken bolt...and one thing more,beware of scary dogs....Ha ha ha....

  2. Nice story, Jason. I think the dog looks cute, though. But perhaps scarier up close, eh?

  3. These local shops seem more helpful than some here in the state. I think here people would rather just go replace the suitcase. I like repair shops...