The Spanish Beggar

In the center of Las Palmas, the main city on Gran Canaria, is a wide pedestrian mall, lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes. On one of our afternoon visits, it was impossible not to be aware of this man prowling the walkway and very aggressively asking one and all for money.   Anyone who refused to contribute was treated to a loud and angry lecture. Clearly his financial situation was not this fellow’s only problem. 

Faced with the possibility of a verbally abusive refusal, I was not about to interfere with his business activities, but later in the day I found him sitting quietly on a wooden crate and, waving a five euro bill in front of him, had no problem in taking his photo. Based on the language barrier, I passed up any chance for an interview, but was also hesitant to interrupt the conversation he was having with himself!