Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Irresistible force meets immovable object

A Babcia climbs out of Metro Centrum, with crutch and shopping bag, hauling herself up on the handrail as she proceeds.

Her path is being blocked by a member of the Roma community seeking alms from passers-by. What will Babcia do?

Below: Resolutely Babcia continues her climb. She's seen off Hitler and Stalin and will not allow an able-bodied 30-something obstruct her. Whoomph! In goes the knee, Whack! And the shopping bag.

Below: Down comes the weight of a full bag of shopping once again, full of angular cat-food tins and heavy vinegar bottles, this time onto the back of the obstructive beggar.

"Ow, my back!" Left: Babcia squeezes through to claim a moral victory.

Will the city authorities take action before Euro 2012 against the the enterprising Roma folk who send out their nearest and dearest into the freezing cold to panhandle Warsaw's busiest thoroughfares? Or should the EU's most picked-on minority be allowed to continue its traditional business when the fans come to town, thus showcasing Warsaw's tolerance and diversity?

I shall let you, dear reader, be the judge.

This time last year:
Reasons to be cheerful

This time two years ago:
Skiing in the Beskid Wyspowy

This time three years ago:
What's to be done about Warsaw's unmade roads?
[answer after three years: 'apparently nothing, nothing apparently']

This time four years ago:
Jeziorki in the fog
[some lovely photos]


Kolin S. Murray said...

Fantastic!! I wish I could have been there to watch you capture this series.

Andrzej K said...

In the mid nineties I used to park my car in the multi storey car park on ul. Parkingowa. Every evening a large black Mercedes would be parked and the Roma "beggers" would arrive to hand over their days takings. No wonder the Roma "kings" could afford to build massive palaces which line the major routes.

toyah said...

Beauty! Just beauty!

White Horse Pilgrim said...

A few years ago it was the same in the Balkans - massive Gypsy palaces built on the proceeds of begging. Will Poland do anything? Or Britain, where the police are afraid of Gypsies? Probably not, but the Hungarians are showing some mettle.

Anonymous said...

Good eye and foresight to anticipate this. How much did you pay the Roma to stay put or ths Babcia to take the slow, relentless 'babcia-like' rugby charge?

Very well done!