Thursday, July 27, 2006

Gypsies of Florence

Beaten dark hands appear like used leather out of her long colorful sleeves. these hands have seen many days, many sleeves and many dirty coins. The Gypsies of Florence make their living with their hands. They may not sew, cook or clean, but instead they hold out their palms in desire of being fed with spare change from tourists and trustworthy Italians.

Many people wal past without a glance, but those who pay the Gypsies the slightest of attention are followed and harassed for monents which begin to feel like hours. The women are desperate, hungry and angry. Their hands do their work, as American and Eupopean tourists do not understand their broken sentences.

An American woman, with light skin and soft hands is approached by a Gypsy. Her hands have not seen the days of begging for coins. She reaches into her designer purse, and removes a small pile of change. Sorting through the money, this woman reaches out with a euro. As the Gyspy ungraciously snatches the coin, their hands almost touch. The hands are like night and day, black and white. They are the hands of different cultures with different pasts. The only connection is the euro, which is quickly forgotten as both women scurry away in opposite directions.

Dannielle Abbott--Minnesota State University

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