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A strange thing… - Chuck Fisher's LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
From Bay Area to Barcelona

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A strange thing… [ Wednesday, 24 Dec 08 | 15:38 ]
[Tags|, , ]
[My Location |El Masnou (Barcelona) España]
[My Mood |weirdweird]

A couple times a month I encounter an “entertainer” on the train. Usually it’s an accordion player, guitarist, or singer, sometimes even a group. Often they have a battery-powered amplifier to provide accompaniment. Last night on my trip home from la capital, I noticed a passenger with a collapsible bike along with some other gear.

I was checking my camera equipment and suddenly heard some ethereal-sounding music. At first I didn’t know where it was coming from. The passenger started speaking with the typical “Buenas noches, desculpa me…”. That’s usually an introduction to a spiel asking for money.

I was surprised when he assembled a large doll/puppet, and switched his sound system to a Beatles song. He danced around manipulating the doll and was singing. I thought it was really weird. Lucky I had a camera and was able to take a few shots.

Man dancing and
singing with puppet

Normally I don’t tip “performers” on the train, but in this case I gave him a euro for his troubles since I had photographed him.


[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Wednesday, 24 Dec 08 | 15:19 (UTC)
Remarkably now they perform. A few years ago, it was a woman with a child saying "Es triste pedir, pero más triste es robar..."

Did you know that they're organized mafias?
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Wednesday, 24 Dec 08 | 15:34 (UTC)

Did you know that they're organized mafias?

I didn't know there were mafias. Sometimes it looks like a student on his way to the conservatory for a class. And yes, the women who beg for money with a child (not necessarily their own) in their arms are probably members of some sort of gang or mafia.

Recently Ruben and I were on the train to capital and there was one of these "begging mothers." I mimicked what she was saying in her same tone of voice: "Lo siento mucho. Estoy jubilado. No tengo trabajo. No puedo ganar dinero…"

Chuck, Bones festes!

Edited at 2008-12-24 03:42 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: erstexman
Thursday, 25 Dec 08 | 03:21 (UTC)
I encountered a similar act when on the train when I visited Barcelona in 2002 in addition to buskers around the Cathedral. I did not know that they are so organized.

I was also very cognizant of the woman with a "starving" child act. My God is that universal? There is a beggar that frequents the Oak Lawn gay commercial area in Dallas that has been begging for money to buy milk for her "baby" for nearly 30 years.
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