Aggressive Gypsies - Pickpockets in Barcelona!
Aggressive Gypsies - Pickpockets in Barcelona! Reviews
Safety and Pickpockets in Barcelona Spain - Aggressive Gypsies! Nov 21, 2010
Safety and Pickpockets in Barcelona Spain - Aggressive Gypsies!
i visited beautiful barcelona spain in late october for about 6 days. it was my first solo vacation by myself and i freaked myself out by reading all the pickpocketing stories online, but after day 2 i wasn't so chicken and thought it was just internet crap.
for my entire trip, i wore a money belt and also a leather purse w/ leather straps that i wore criss-crossed over my body, which has a zipper and a leather piece that clamps over the zipper. luckily i didn't get robbed, but thieves kept trying! :(
although i had a lovely time by myself, i had the misfortune of encountering thieves on 3 occasions (day 2 and twice on day 6).
day 2 - 'metro at night':
as soon as i stepped onto a subway platform, a gypsy came out of nowhere from behind me, as if he were waiting for an opportunity, which just happen to be me! he couldn't communicate with me, but still proceeded to invite me to have drinks with his friend and because i wasn't sure what he wanted i gestured that i was sleepy and returning to the hotel. he asked where my hotel was, but i didn't respond. there was long silence until the train came and when he got off at "cataluyna station" i stayed on and realized later that he was probably trying to rob me where his buddies would be. i initially thought he wanted something else since his english was so poor he asked me to join them by saying "wait here for me and my friend for drinks"..."catalunya barcelona". i later found out that "cataluyna station" is in "la ramblas", which has a high tourist robbing target rate. mind you, on another day i did go to "la ramblas" during the daytime and at night and i DIDN'T feel very comfy there at night.
day 6: 'parc citronella' - daytime full of tourists:
as i walked up the steps of this beautiful fountain, i was harrassed by teenage gypsies who forced me to read and sign a petition for 'blind children', which DIDN'T explain how they would help the blind children (note i consistently refused until i decided to get rid of them). when i realized column 3 asked for a 'donation' i said "no" firmly and the other 2 teenage gypsies (3 in total) SWARMED around me and they kept circling around repeated saying "yes euro", which got me dizzy, stressed, and upset as i kept repeatedly shouting "no". they blocked my way as i tried to walk up the stairs. eventually, i shouted "NO NO NO" even louder and forced my way upstairs. at this point they let me walk up although i was so furious i would have pushed them, which was my plan.
i THINK they realized that it was too difficult to rob me and that i would ruin their chances with all the tourists in the park below who haven't walked up the stairs yet. i later saw them as i went down the stairs on the other side and gave them i rude look with my hand on my purse. LOL
i'm not sure if their intention was to just steal my donation, steal money as i count my money, watch where i keep my money, or all of the above.
day 6: 'barric gotic' - daytime full of tourists:
i was vulnerable to a 20-30 something year old male loser (i'm not sure whether he was a gypsy since i didn't make eye contact) sitting on a lone pole stump since my hands were holding a pastry i was snacking on. he looked at me funny and pat my bum as i passed by. when i got a couple of metres away i shouted "f-off" since i felt violated. not only until i returned home that my friend told me that he was trying to steal from my back pocket, but luckily i don't keep things there.
i know several others whom have been to barcelona at different times and either they or their friend have been pickpocketed/robbed in barcelona.
i'm born and raised in toronto where i haven't really encountered this before although it's a pretty busy thriving city.
i hate to finger point, but i must warn that gypsies are in ALL the tourist areas so beware!!!!
i didn't have any bad experiences with locals. they weren't friendly when i travelled on the subway, but whenever i asked for help they seemed okay. in fact, here are some nice incidents: retired man who couldn't explain in english walked me out of the metro to street level and back down into the rail station to buy a train ticket (i trusted him only because he looked geniune, but i kept telling him i was okay). another young guy was helpful by writing down directions for me. meanwhile another young couple on the rail were nice as well.
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