6 thoughts on “In Spanish (1 of 3)”

  1. These flowers and gypsies reminded me when I used to walk to Atocha rail station in Madrid, Spain to give English lessons to railroad engineers. I walked through Parque del Retiro on my way to the station. There were often pretty, young gypsy girls with flowers and flower leis by a set of stairs that went from the park to the street. There were usually three or four young women, and one would hand me flowers trying to get me to take them, another tried to put a lei over my head, while the other girls where trying to go through my pockets and put their hands in my pants to see if I had a money belt. Since I didn’t carry much money, and they acted so cute about their shakedown, I couldn’t really get mad at them. I would carefully disengage their hands from my packets and pants, tell them I didn’t have time to haggle over flowers, but I enjoyed all their handling. They would give me pouty looks, and I’d continue on my way. We had a few gypsy friends in Madrid, and we interected with gypsies on occasion since we were doing flamenco.


    1. Well now Tim, that is an excellent story. Their dance, their look, their spirits are mesmerizing and extraordinary, but it’s always wise to understand the situation, as you did. Wise man, and I daresay, lucky.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Here’s an interesting gypsy story for you. I met the guitarist I studied with for lessons at a dancer’s house and studio. Angel was the dancer. He was not a gypsy, but gypsy dancers, singers and guitarists would stop by and hang out while I was waiting for Miguel, the guitarist.

        The lessons were scheduled for 10 pm, after Miguel played, but it was usually well after midnight before Miguel would show up. I got to Angel’s at 10 because sometimes Miguel showed up on time, and Angel like to tell me stories about working with all the famous flamenco artists like Paco de Lucía and Camarón de la Isla.

        There was one gypsy dancer who would come by quite often when I was waiting for Miguel. I don’t remember his name, but one day he was talking about preparing for his daughter’s wedding. In the midst of the discussion I asked how old she was. He said she was 12 years old. I asked how old the groom was, he said in his 50’s. I said you basically sold your daughter to an old man. He said it was an arranged marriage. I said that is was illegal to sell girls to old men. He said by Spanish law yes, but by gypsy law it was legal and that’s what they did. I ended up just shaking my head.


    2. I’m wishing we were drinking sherry and listening to some cante jondo while having this conversation Tim. What else could you do but shake your head? It’s tragic, but that world is completely and totally closed to the rules and laws outside of the clan. So much contradiction….beauty and talent and ignorance and misogyny….a culture that is almost (but not quite) frozen in time.

      Liked by 1 person

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