Seville Snapshot: Tools of the Gypsy Trade

Moises extends his hand to me, wiping it first on the back of his pant leg. ¡Wenas noshes, hoooooooola a mis amigos, olé mis grandes señores! His greeting is always the same, and accompanied by a near-toothless grin.

I fish around in my wallet for a euro or two for him, noticing he’s wearing a turtleneck that I’m pretty sure used to be mine. The Novio offers him a cigarette and asks about his children and wife. Of all of the gypsies who live in the chabolas at the far southwestern end of town, he’s the only one I know by name, sturck by his positivity. Not all the vecinos have a soft spot for him like I do.

I don’t usually give money to beggars, but Moises is different. Sometimes, we’ll even buy him a sandwich and a beer at  Cerveceria la Tiza, which results in his insistence that I take a sprig of rosemary he’s obviously nicked from someone’s garden, or occasionally a pack of tissue. On occasion, I’ve also received flowers, and often more than I deserve for just a bit of spare change.

Stolen spices and tissue packs aside, I especially love when my coins are accepted with a tune on his cracked guitar.

¡Una rumbita pa mi americana! ¡Qué el Dios de los Gitanos te bendiga! A rumba for my American girl. May the Lord of the Gypsies bless you.

Have photos of Seville or Spain to share? I gladly accept them and run them as part of my weekly photo feature! Send me an email to sunshineandsiestas @ gmail.com, or upload to my Facebook page.

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living among pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she wrangles babies at an English Language Academy and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.

Comments

  1. Love this anecdote. As was my experience, it is often the Gypsies who are the most warm and human. A little bit of kindness goes a long way.

  2. Gayla says:

    Beautiful! Small acts of kindness, even just a smile, can make the world a better place. For me, experiences like this make a big difference in life…what a lovely blessing Moises bestowed upon you.
    Gayla recently posted..van Gogh in ArlesMy Profile

  3. Oh, Cat, I just love this story. The gypsy culture is so fascinating to me, and I love the picture you painted with your words here. You know all about my Lorca obsession, so any glimpse into the mystery of the gypsies just enchants me. Thanks for this! x
    Julia of Nowhere to Go but Everywhere recently posted..an insider’s guide to getting lost in granada {el albaicín}My Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Aw, you’re a doll! I’ve been slowly reading El Tesis de Nancy, about an American woman who studies in Spain and falls in love with a gypsy. Great, funny read – you’d love it!

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Aw, you’re a doll! I’ve been slowly reading El Tesis de Nancy, about an American woman who studies in Spain and falls in love with a gypsy. Great, funny read – you’d love it!

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