I’m sick of using the metro. Crowded, smelly and unsafe.
First week of May. Green line. Early evening. I enter the train behind a lanky Maghrebi in his chandal uniform. Late 20’s over 6ft tall. Two stops later a French family enter the train. Mama, papa et les enfants.
Lanky Maghrebi makes his move as a I watch him out of the corner of my eye. I scan the carriage. Who on the carriage looks like he can handle himself? I spot a south American guy… he’s also seen the lanky guy. A glance between us. RED HANDED. Lanky slips his hand into Papa’s pocket, I aim a swift kick to lanky’s balls. He doubles up. I hope my South American eye contact buddy is gonna back me up. He does. He stands up and shouts “ladron, ladron!” I grab lanky’s scarf and drag it over the glass partition in the carriage, effectively hanging him there. I then pull the RED HANDLE. Security arrive. I hand over a protesting lanky and my new battle buddy and I shake hands and continue our journey.
Barca vs Man United. 20 mins to kick off. Green line. Four Romany types. Skinny striped tee and his gym buddy with two gypsy chicks enter the train and corral an elderly American couple. The whole carriage tries not to look as the foursome try to grab bags and wallets. Caught RED HANDED. I’m a door away from the action. In front of me a lad stands up. Blue Nikes. Shouts “ladrones, ladrones”. I join in as does the rest of the carriage and I pull the RED HANDLE. Skinny and gym boy don’t like this. We all shout our way off onto the platform. Gym boy thinks he wants a fight. My hooligan eastend accent gives him second thoughts. Driver comes and refuses to act. Skinny, gym and the scraggy twins scarper and then re-enter the same train at the other end of the platform. Driver refuses to call security. I re-enter the train and pull the RED HANDLE again. Driver wants me arrested. Me and blue Nikes leave the station. I get to the bar in time to see the kick-off.
On my way to Sants to catch a train to Valencia. Green line. Paral.lel. Three blonde hipster scando lads get on. Followed by four Romany types. Fat chick pony tail. Fatter chick pony tail. Skinny chick. And Earring lad. Fat Chick attempts to use her bag to cover her hand as she slips it into Blonde hipster scando lad number one’s pocket. Caught RED HANDED. I jump up. Shout “ladrona ladrona”. Grab fat chick by her greasy pony tail and she falls to the floor. I pull the RED HANDLE. Earring lad takes exception to this. A quick snarl from me and slap across the chops with my keys in my fist sends him a message. Suddenly beardy gym-bear passenger joins in. “I saw them too.. hijos de puta”. The four run off. I’ve got earring’s blood on my hand. Scandos tell me it’s the second attempted robbery against them this week. Security arrive. Tell me its the sixth time they have been called today for the same gang. Sants seems quiet. It’s raining.
I am going to buy a scooter.