Africans in Milan

Veröffentlicht auf von André

Walking through Milan, you can't help but notice African men selling gadgets to the tourists. You see them everywhere at the main touristy places, putting their armbands around the wrist of many innocent tourists and demanding money before the tourist can disagree. Even if an innocent student is walking to his faculty, to the library or to the university administration, they're jumping on you. They must think that students are an easy prey. And they're quite self-assured as well.

Two of them were having a go at me, today. They grabbed my arm and tried to hold me back when I walked on! Selling wristbands, cigarette lighters and plastic gadgets - ok, let them do it. But harassing tourists and students like this, that's another level. This time I had to shout down the guy who just wouldn't stop - luckily there were a lot of onlookers and I was talking English, so the advantage was on my side. Next time I'm going to pull out my video camera and threaten that their faces will be on Youtube if they don't stop. I'm sure that they don't have a residence permit and that they would be sent home to Africa if they got caught. In this case, having your face on Youtube is like a death sentence.

But then, there are always two sides to a story. Me being bothered by them is just one side. The other side is that they flew from Africa to have a better life. But even in Europe, they're still at the bottom of the ladder. They have to earn their money by putting wristbands around tourists' arms. It seems like there is no way for them to have the comfortable career of a European - school, university, office job. No health insurance is paying their salary when they're sick for a week. No pension at age 65 for these guys.

Viewed from another perspective, you should maybe buy something from them one or the other day...

Veröffentlicht in Milan

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