Friday, May 08, 2009

Well, I’m lucky to be able to post this on my laptop tonight . . .

As I was drinking in Dos de Mayo square here in Madrid, intensely practising my Gallego with a Madrileño friend of my daughter’s, a kind soul from a nearby table told me someone had just nicked my rucksack from around my feet. Abandoning my dog, Ryan, to his fate (and my daughter in the toilets) – Pablo and I raced round the corner, up the street and round another corner, where he noticed that a woman who looked, shall we say, Eastern European had turned round and was retracing her steps, back towards us. Looking where she’d come from, he saw the rucksack on the ground, up against a car wheel.

So, a lucky break and a valuable lesson. And it was almost amusing to hear Faye relate how she’d come out of the bar to find me and Pablo gone and Ryan wandering around free.

Back at the table and looking around, I was able to confirm what Faye then (rather belatedly) told me, viz. that every Madrileña sits with her handbag on her lap. That’s how they identify the suckers.

I wonder how the Rumanian repatriation scheme is going.

7 comments:

Keefieboy said...

Been there, done that. About seven times. Romanians and gitanos, nearly every time.

Colin said...

Hi. Keith. Hope you got lucky each time . . .

Keefieboy said...

Nope, got robbed a lot.

Xoán-Wahn said...

That's awful! Sometimes I feel bad when I fall into the stereotype of gypsy/Rumanian = not trustworthy as I am on really good terms with a local couple of gitanillos and the Rumanians can hardly be blamed for begging outside of churches in these troubling times. Still, I suppose it's best to keep my guard up. Mejor prevenir que lamentar.

Colin said...

Yes, I agree completely.

CafeMark said...

Back in the late 80s there were certain parts of Madrid where you were liable to be mugged at knife point. Plaza`2 de Mayo can be a bit grungy even in prosperous years, but back then it was even dangerous strolling out of the Plaza Mayor. It wasn't Rumanians or even gitanos doing the muggings then, it was local drug addicts. Times change, and the make-up of the dispossessed change, but you always have to be a little street smart in a major city.

Colin said...

Hi, Mark

Yes, I recall my first visit to the square was just after a couple of cops had been knifed and it didn't look too salubrious even then, only 5 or 6 years ago. But it's been progressively gentrified and now boast a kids' park in each of 3 of the corners and an old folks' park in the 4th. Plus a lot of movida. Though no botellón, as the police now stop this. As I say in the blog I'm about to post, I prided myself on being street smart and hadn't ever had anything stolen. Still haven't but I was very lucky this time.