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September 04, 2009


Sanity Inspector

A trick to use with Somalis: Say "tah-dias" to them, which means "How's it goin'" in Amharic. They couldn't be more surprised if the lamppost spoke to them.

Benjamin Fowler

Another obvious place to be careful, would have to be the touristy areas of Barcelona, which suffer from extremely high levels of street crime.

I got an appreciation of this, when my partner made sure that I was carrying nothing of value and nothing unnecessary before leaving the house. She's a local, and even she takes serious precautions. Barcelona is apparently bursting with petty criminality.

Places to really watch yourself (or avoid completely), include Las Ramblas, especially the southern end (pickpockets posing as hookers), Maremagnum, Parc Güell, the Metro and the area around the Sagrada Familia. Also pays to be careful around Placa Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia and the Olympic site.

I've heard of other stuff, but obviously, not looking like a tourist and trying to blend in (at least plausibly looking like a resident and not a tourist) goes a long way.


I actually read about Las Ramblas' prostitute problem this morning: apparently Zapatero wants something done about it.

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