The night shift

14 Oct

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!

Sheepish grin

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.


6 Responses to “The night shift”

  1. roamingtheworld October 15, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    Oh Barcelona…
    you’ve got me curious about the prostitutes. I want to know more about them and their lives. I remember seeing so many when I was there and am always curious about people’s lives, how they got where they are, their dreams, etc…

    • Prithika October 15, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

      I’ve always been curious about them as well. I was glad these girls talked to us, they are usually very suspicious. Maybe if I see them again I can have a little chat.

  2. Richard October 15, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    I think a great project would be to do an interview with all these characters and see what their story is. My most recent experience with pickpockets was in walk to wok, I intervened (yes!) and stopped them from nicking some Australian girl’s purse…. they left then started spitting at the window where I was sitting 😦

    • Prithika October 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

      You’re a braver person than me Richard. I’m intimidated by the pickpockets who work the Metro. They’re a much harder and meaner variety than the daft lads I spoke to the other night.

  3. flabbypack December 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Pick pockets usually back off once there court , if you try to fight them then your in trouble .


  1. Best of Barcelona blogs | Best of Bcn - May 18, 2013

    […] This is another one for the long term resident, (or should that be inmate?) of Barcelona. A warts and all portrayal of  the vagaries of Bcn living. Passing asides on the quirky and edgy goings on in the dark heart of the Raval are intermixed with useful updates about events in the city at large. The blog is set apart by the writer´s eye for detail that its author Prithika Nair brings to project. Always a lively read. […]

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