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A close Roma encounter 26/02/2012

Posted by allthingsro in quirks.
Tags: ,

Autumn 2010. Flatmate and I are watching a documentary about Roma in the UK. Or benefit scroungers, in Daily Mail parlance. The documentary is incredibly narrow in focus: you would believe that Roma subsist purely on UK and begging, with passing  for Muslims being the scheme du jour.

It gives no mention of copper wire. Or manele. It doesn’t mention the King of the Gypsies and all his finery.

A few days later, I’m opposite a Roma at the self-checkout at Sainsbury’s Ealing Broadway. She sells the Big Issue outside Marks & Spencer’s. She’s always alone, no begging kids in tow.

Roma woman is trying to scan a Cheese Straw. It has no bar code, no sticker, nothing remotely approaching anything scanable. I step in and help her complete the transaction. She thanks me and leaves the store. I wish I had bought her some fruit.




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