Aggressive Gypsies - Pickpockets in Barcelona!

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Barcelona, Spain

Aggressive Gypsies - Pickpockets in Barcelona! Reviews

AliceToronto AliceTor…
1 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.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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cmp12b says:
*continuation of previous post*
When you describe your 6th Day in parc citronella you again jump to the conclusion that the children you met were Romanies. Though these children sound like expert con-artists this does not mean they are Romanies. According to Catalan News Agency as of 2010 nearly 19% of Catalonia lives under the poverty line. These children either Romani or not were more than likely trying to take your money for themselves, but this does not automatically make them Romani pick-pockets rather just pick-pockets in general.
As I read your description of your 6th Day in barric gotic I couldn’t help but laugh. The first thing that I found funny was that you seem to have a super-power where you can identify the ethnicity of a person by looking into their eyes. Personally I’ve never met a Romani on the street but if I did I probably would not be able to point them out by simply looking at them. As you conclude your post it is good that you warn people to be vigilante, but from my experience with thieves you should be aware of anyone who approaches you; a native or a “foreigner” because you don’t know what their intentions are.
When you decide to talk about your experiences in another country it is probably best if you knew who and what you are talking about and not just talk using your emotions. Facts are always a great way to solidify your argument. Your post promotes antigypsyism which has been going on for generations and will continue with the publication of things like this. I hope that after reading what I have to say you will make necessary changes to your blog post, whether it is a revision or just completely removing it from the site. Your stereotyping does not help the Romani people at all and supports the insensitive act of antigypsyism. The Romani people have suffered enough and your stereotyping does not help them.
-C.Patterson
Posted on: Apr 20, 2013
cmp12b says:
Hello AliceToronto,
After reading your post I am very concerned with your own perspective of Gypsy people and the image you are creating of Gypsies with your post. The first thing I would like to bring to your attention is your repeated use of the word “gypsy(ies)” with a lower-case ‘g’. When talking about the so-called “gypsies” you encountered you should either use a capital ‘G’ or you should call them by their proper name, Romanies. Ian Hancock, a professor of Romani Studies at UT says, when you use the lowercase ‘g’ it “reinforces the common idea that [they] are a people defined by their behavior rather than by [their] ethnicity.” Romanies are a specific group of people that moved from India in the 10th century throughout the world due to persecution.
I did not have a problem with your post until I got to your description of your 2nd Day. I’m not really sure how you knew the man you met was a Gypsy, but you should not automatically assume that a person being friendly to you is trying to rob you and further more assume that the person is a Gypsy based on hear-say. According to Minority Right Group International, the Romani people make up less than 2% of the population in Spain, so it is a bold statement for you to assume a random man is Romani. When it comes to communicating with you this man may not know English in general. In Barcelona, the main languages spoken are Spanish and Catalan, so it is likely the man you met only spoke one of these two languages and very little English. Romani people also speak their own language so if he was actually a Rom this could have been another wall in your inability to effectively communicate with one another.
*see next comment for continuation*
Posted on: Apr 20, 2013
NJTProadcruiser says:
Interesting. I hope you had a good time despite this. : )
Posted on: Nov 21, 2010
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