This narrative was previously part of a post. But I figured it deserved its own post so here goes.
Upon arrival to Marseille, we took a taxi to our rented apartment on Rue de la Republique. We were supposed to meet the owner at 11 am but he was running late. For whatever reason, my sisters and I were hanging around outside the apartment with our suitcases, I guess enjoying the sunshine, a welcome change from the cold and rain in Berlin.
Anyway, we were soon approached by these two gypsy women with bundles of cloth (or something) that they were passing off as babies. Now I’ve been approached by gypsies in Rome, in Berlin, and even in Ghana thought I doubt those were gypsies – likely Lebanese beggars. In fact in Berlin, we were in Hackescher Markt when we were approached – individually. The lady who approached me asked me in English if I spoke English and when I said yes proceeded to hand me a card. On it was scribbled in English something about being a destitute woman without money to pay for her child. I quickly gave it back to her and shook my head. End of story. Toni, when approached was clueless and thought the lady needed translation of whatever it was written on the card. It took a few seconds for things to click for her that the lady was a beggar. Quite humourous actually. Yet, we hung around them and they left us alone.
Not so in Marseille. The women in Marseille just wouldn’t let us alone. They had their hands in M’sa’s bag and were all up in our faces. Seriously. We ended up going inside the foyer of our apartment to get rid of them thinking they wouldn’t enter the house. Boy where we wrong. A few minutes later, the door opens and in they walk continuing with their begging and their rifling through of M’sa’s things. I had to physically push them out of the building, only to have them return when the owner of the apartment arrived to let us into the secure area. Would you believe they tried to follow us there as well? Craziness.
Numerous times in the week I would see the women with others camped out at the Saint-Cannat Church at the end of our street. You can best believe I avoided visiting that church.