Friday, September 15, 2006

Welcome To Barcelona!

I like to think I'm pretty hard to shock. I have a pretty good grasp on how things work, a very liberal attitude that understands that even good people sometimes do bad things (or ill thought out ones at least), and a belief that people are fundamentally good despite the occasional indicators to the contrary. However, I was talking to my sister the other night, and she told me something that really stopped me dead cold in my tracks.

First a little back story. My sister had a massive stroke in her very late 40s and is now considerably incapacitated. Problems with her rehabilitation over the past few years have meant that she now prefers to spend most of her time at home, and when she does venture out it is in a wheelchair and with a carer in tow. So I was very surprised, pleasantly so (although a little trepidatious) when my other sister told me that she had gone to Italy and Spain for 4 weeks, taking one of her carers with her.

Long story short, I was chatting to her about Spain, Gaudi, Pedro Almodovar and my desire to see Barcelona and Madrid when she told me something that absolutely floored me. On her first day in Barcelona she was robbed. In the hustle and bustle of trying to get out of a cab, while her carer went to get the wheelchair out of the trunk of the taxi, two women offered to help her out of the cab, and in the process helped themselves to her purse.

Spain, I still think you are beautifull but some of your gloss has gone.

9 comments:

Sunshine said...

Omg, that's terrible. A friend of mine from the UK received the same treatment in Brisbane when he visited. :(

Michael Guy said...

There's a special place in hell for folks like that. How wrong!

Susoz said...

I saw someone get robbed on new year's Eve in Barcelona - I think it's common there, unfortunately. Big drug problem.

Q - 60's girl said...

Oh Andrew, more so sad because we knew the point she was at prior to actually going over there. I hope she wasn't so frightened that it puts her off for any future escapades...

The Other Andrew said...

I think they were professional theives, from what my sister said they were fairly well dressed. It still shocks me when I think about it. I had heard that Barcelona was bad. One of my friends from the Buddhist centre was telling me yesterday that he had his credit card scammed in Barcelona also. Tough town.

Quinn, my sister is pretty feisty these days - it obviously put a tarnish on the trip, but she dealt ok. She's planning on writing a humorous travelogue for diabled travellers!

Cozalcoatl said...

That totally sucks. Hope she still had a good time. It doesn't matter where you are people will be bastards.
I've been very lucky travelling and never had any problems. Maybe I don't look like a easy mark or something, who can tell how they choose thier vitims.
Backpacked for a month through Spain- go there, it is beautiful and amazing, learn some Spanish first though.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

I'm with Cozling - go to Spain and absolutely love every minute, I know I did. I long to go again (to Seville and Salamanca in particular). Barcelona was not actually one of my highlights, save for the astounding Gaudi (as you would imagine). it's too big and sprawly.

but it has the same amount of crud under the gloss as everywhere else. be romantic about it, but not so romantic as to not see the scammers through your rose-tinted glasses...

dani said...

wow.hard to believe that desperation can turn some folks into total and utter fuckwits...bad karma.

Q - 60's girl said...

TOA i lurve the idea - she should write one! And having someone sponsor the travel while she writes would be even better :) i am glad it didn't upset her overly.