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). I don’t often use the metro, but my impression is that the police are considerably over-exaggerating their success, and that the problem is actually increasing.
Metro Line 5 isn’t hugely popular with thieves, but the other day a Southern Slav cartoon criminal was doing the standard routine–wandering around the platform eyeing up tourist bags and pockets–as a train pulled into Sants station.
As the doors opened, he fixed on a small and well-built young man with a Glaswegian beertan and a Barça shirt. While I hung back to the right, he tracked the left back pocket with his hands, his right slightly in front of his left, his head bowed in anticipation. He looked like a hamster.
As his hand went in, I tapped the victim on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, this man’s picking your pocket.” Almost before the thief could launch into dramatic protestations of innocence, his victim said, “Who? Him?” and punched him very hard in the face.
The thief fell over backwards bleeding from his nose, and we got on the train just as the doors closed. The little old lady crammed in front of us looked up and said to the Scotsman, “Well done, son.”
He looked round with an air of confusion. “Caught,” he replied.
“Yes, he was rather, wasn’t he,” I said.
“No, no,” he said, “Caught! I’ve got tickets for Barça.”
“Ah, Les Corts,” I said. “Well, I’m terribly sorry, but you’re on the wrong train altogether. Your best bet from here is to change platforms and get out at Collblanc. This train goes to the Sagrada Familia.”
- The mugger, mugged (3)
With a description of how thieves work Barcelona’s metro station platforms.
- The mugger mugged
Several Chinese have whispered me grossly inaccurate versions of this story, so here’s the truth, from the mouth of a horse
- Bike theft
Installing chips on bikes (via meta-blogger John Pawlenko) in order to reduce soaring theft rates (PDF) sounds great, but one suspects
- Sepia to the iron with ali smelt
Via Carlos Ferrero Martín and @ucedaman, another great menu, featuring ears to the iron, sepia to the iron with ali smelt,
- Moment suprême of last night’s mini-botellón
After struggling for 10 minutes, a well-dressed young man manages to set fire to a container just off Carmen, steps back,