Sevilla’s Pesky Good-Luck Peddlers

Part of any tourist’s experience when visiting Sevilla is encountering these pesky and persistent beggars. They offer you a tiny sprig of greenery. You say no. They force it on you. You take it and then can’t give it back. They insist on a payment, while telling your fortune on the fly. You finally offer them a few coins to get them to leave you alone. They refuse to take coins, claiming coins are bad luck. They insist on paper. You finally buy your freedom for five euros. Or…you refuse to be intimidated. These are adults who know they are making fools of timid tourists. Have fun with these women, but don’t let them psych you into a costly encounter.

If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.


2 Replies to “Sevilla’s Pesky Good-Luck Peddlers”

  1. This was really insane when we were in Barcelona two years ago. What made it insane was they had ways of signaling each other when the police were coming and then they would wrap up their stuff and run. And this was a constant thing. They had it down, but it made for people running and chaos everywhere. Not sure if you were going to get run over in the process.

  2. Rick, this is one time I must disagree with you. These gypsy beggars are no different from beggars anywhere else, they just have a slightly different gimmick. I never had a problem with them in Seville, Granada, or anywhere else in Spain or other countries. The way you handle them is simple: you just don’t engage with them — you ignore them and keep going. They will not chase you. If you do engage with them, you are agreeing to play their game, and there are definite rules to that game, so you can’t complain about it. I think that you have overdramatized something that is not that big a deal.

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