6:30 a.m. Barcelona city center
Part 1. The Protective Prostitutes
Us (flyering): Come to the Fish n Chip shop ladies. It’s open at 6 am every weekend. Good food and drink!
The girls smile and accept the flyers and we make to move off.
Lillian: Here! Come back! Tell me….tell me some more about the Fish n Chip shop.
Us: Sure, well you can get Fish and Chips, it’s deep fried. And you can get an English breakfast or an American breakfast.
Lillian (quietly): Keep talking to us girls, that man there is waiting to rob you.
Me: Oh thanks for the warning! What’s your name?
Lillian: I’m Lillian, I’m from Mozambique.
Muriel: I’m Muriel, from Kenya
Shady man gives up and walks away.
Me: Nice to meet you ladies, do you work here during the day? I’ll say hello if I pass by.
Lillian: Oh no! We don’t work in the day.
Muriel: Nah, we study in the day.
Me: What do you study?
Lillian: Anything we can. Catalan, Spanish, any free course we find.
Muriel: Yeah, we want to be ready for the day we get our papers. As soon as we get papers, we’re going to find real jobs.
Part 2. The Flirtatious Thieves
Boy: Excuse me señora! Is this yours?
Me: Hey, that’s my wallet!
Boy: Yeah, you must have dropped it back there.
Me: No I didn’t. You stole it!
Me: So, did you find any money in it?
Boy: Er…no, even the phone was crap….
Me (in my best teacherly voice): Now don’t you feel ashamed trying to rob a girl with no money?
Boy (Sheepish grin): I came to give it back to you, and….umm… could I get your phone number?
Me (laughing): No way!
Boy: But why?
Me: Because you’re a robbing bastard, that’s why!
Boy’s mates (laughing at him): You’re a robbing bastard! Ha ha ha!
Boy: Aww cmon, it was too easy. This city is full of thieves. (In his best teacherly voice) You should be more careful!
Read more on Barcelona’s crime at the Thief hunters in Paradise blog.