Dear Clothing Arts,
My wife and I were entering the Granada Cathedral late in the afternoon in February and there was a small group of people milling around the entrance. A man appeared out of nowhere and put his arms around me and his hands swiftly swarmed all over my body. I heard the loud voice of an old man who was shrugging behind me to be aware of the first man. It is not sure to me whether the second man was a good Samaritan or a planted diversion. As I was turning to acknowledge the second man, the first man slipped into the cathedral and magically disappeared forever.
Afterwards, we kept replaying the incident in our head about what exactly had occurred. Who else in the crowd might have been involved? Was I over-reacting? Was he just in a hurry to get into choir practice or some such? It all happens so fast. I kept mentally inventorying in my mind wondering did he take anything? I was totally intact and did not lose anything. It was strange and upsetting but all at once reassuring. I was protected and I actually felt better afterward knowing that my valuables were, in fact, secure.
We also witnessed another scam in Madrid that did not involve us…or did it? An old gypsy woman with some other colorful characters were walking together near the Plaza del Sol and she literally flew out of her shoes and landed on the ground. Immediately many concerned people jumped to her rescue to help her and get her on her feet again. Her entourage was busy mingling with the crowd in a very choreographed way. We felt conflicted on an immediate level but were quick to get away from the whole mess. Regardless, I was glad that I was wearing my Clothing Arts garb and felt secure that nothing was taken from me.
It is always a good idea to be vigilant and aware of our surroundings regardless. I suspect that pickpockets and scammers tend to go for the low-hanging fruit. Distracted and unprepared naive tourists are so vulnerable. Their brain is on vacation and they tend to be careless and vulnerable. It is such a comfort to be as secure as possible as we move through the world enjoying the sites.
- John G. from Cape May, NJ, USA.