Pointing the way

We arrived in Barcelona today and meandered around La Rambla, a central tree-line pedestrian walkway with numerous outdoor shops. At one point I spotted a shell game (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_game). I just watched for a few minutes and was able to identify everyone involved. It was funny that the operator and “shills” were all Russian yet everyone else around watching was Western European or American. An American thought about playing but moved on after his partner convinced him it was a sham.

After a few moments, the group of conmen startled and started to walk away (apparently because of me standing and observing for such a long time). Before I knew it, I had a sharp object being poked in my side. A man was at my back and whispered in my ear with a thick Russian accent, “If you want to live, you will walk away quickly”.

My heart rate sky rocketed. I immediately said, “I’m on my way!”

When I looked down, I was relieved to see that the mysterious object lunged into my side was just his pointed finger. But it was still a fairly scary experience.

Afterwards, we took a few moments to calm down. Then, just a few meters away, we visited the amazing statue celebrating the voyages of Christopher Columbus. His enormous 20-inch finger points to his prized destination, the West Indies.

Christopher Columbus statue completed in 1888

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