Several Chinese have whispered me grossly inaccurate versions of this story, so here’s the truth, from the mouth of a horse who wouldn’t want his mum to read this kind of stuff on his blog:
I was having a drink in La Penùltima on Barcelona’s Riera Alta when in came what turned out to be an Australian actress over for the weekend. We got talking, and when the bar closed we went to an Ecuatorian one in the neighbourhood and thence to scuzzy disco Moog, where we managed to stay clear of the rentboys, thieves and speedfreaks until it too shut for the night.
Out on the street again, we bought some beer from a cricket-mad guy from New Delhi and made our way down to the beach to watch the fishing boats heading up the coast at dawn. After a while she had a sleep while I watched out for the thieves, murderers and rapists who hang out there at that time of night. Then it was my turn, but unfortunately she fell asleep too and when she woke, a couple of minutes later, her bag had gone.
I elicited from an early morning jogger–once she’d worked out I didn’t want to kill her–that the thief had headed off on a bike into the Mediterranean end of the Barceloneta grid, so I told Ms Actress to get over to the police station on Joan de Borbó and report the theft while I went after the guy.
I ran off and spotted a gentleman of Moorish aspect dawdling along on a bike carrying the bag in question. Unfortunately, he also saw me, and increased speed, heading towards the land-side, and losing me. I kept on running and, turning a corner, saw a guy pedalling towards me, carrying a bag. I pulled a small clasp knife out of my pocket, knocked him off his bike, put the knife to his throat and said, “Give me the bag or I’ll kill you.” It was then that I realised that it was another bag and another mugger.
Apologies were issued, and I headed off to the police station, where it turned out they’d opened the door and dried her tears with a selection of classic Spanish police repartee: “Closed, we are closed, come at 9 hours. Thankyou very much. Goodbye!”
- Mugger mugged (2)
There’s a piece on Barcelona pickpockets by Laura Nicolás over at Avui (MT English here–don’t worry, they’re not actually stealing postmen).
- The mugger, mugged (3)
With a description of how thieves work Barcelona’s metro station platforms.
- El santo mocaro
Snot-nosed pseudo-saints in a Lingua Franca song by Juan del Encina.
- More thrilling Barcelona police action
In the communal hallway two Moroccans are hard at work extracting objects of value from a rucksack–they’ve got a mobile, cash,
- Thief of Baghdad
Barcelona has been known for its Moorish thieves for at least 1200 years, and last night a friend had an encounter