Crane spirit

When I went out this morning onto the Rambla del Raval, a man was standing up on the boom of the 40 metre crane overlooking Calle San Rafael. He gesticulated and shouted at the firemen in the crane cabin and then wandered out to smoke a cigarette at the 35 metre end.

Under the shadow of the Rambla’s palm trees, homeless Pakistanis (they may have been undercover street sweepers–the resemblance is remarkable) watched him swinging and cavorting in the sun, while a local expert on jumpers provided running commentary as to the chances of a quick and satisfying result. A fat man came out onto the balcony of his mezzanine wearing bright orange pyjamas printed with white sheep, and enough police gathered to start a vice ring.

They should organise this kind of event more often–with all the chatting and joking going on, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a sense of community in the district. A crucifix-man on a crucifix-crane would surely satisfy the bishops, while the brown, the blue, the earth and the light, and a man plunging to ensure the profitable renewal of housing stock is clearly designed to please modern fans of The golden bough.

In the end, and to general disappointment, someone from the Romanian consulate came and talked his compatriot down. Police sources say the whole thing was a protest against the disgraceful treatment of the inhabitants of Glod in Borat.

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