LIFE IN THE STREETS OF PALMA
I’ve just seen that opera singer again, sat on “San Miquel” street. About sixty-something, with her hair combed up in a bun, always sat on a stool, singing “La Traviata”. It hurts to see her singing in the streets. And it hurts even more if you have once watch her singing ten years ago. Her voice is now tenfold weeker. I guess it might be partially due to the kind of life she has. Still, it impresses me.
I wonder how she got there and what she does the rest the day. Being busking in the streets is sometimes the result of bad luck; others it’s an option of people who don’t stand a more “regular” and “strict” way of living. Some of them begging on the street have no choice; others have rented a flat for a very cheap price and sublet the rooms for a very expensive one.
Palma is plenty of Strange houses with strange people. I refer to those houses where a lady (a “badonkadonk”, in American terms) attends the door dressed in inlaid pants. Those people always look for a tenant who spends the whole day out and comes back home strictly to sleep (a “non-visitors-allowed-flat”).
-We are looking for a calm person, without a partner, with a full-time job, who spends the day out.
Some years ago, I met a girl who was devoted precisely to these two tasks: she was a sort of real estate “subagent” (of a “non-visitors-allowed-flat”, of course) and a street artist.
- I don’t get any profit – she used to say – because my friend and I need two rooms of the house for us. The rent paid by the tenants is “only" enough to pay the flat-rent, water and electricity...
And so she explained her “little” undeclared capital profit. And the last straw was that this person was illegal, which means, she had no papers. However, she had a rental contract and a Social Security card...
Yesterday, I met her on the streets. She was concerned by a recruitment process for a receptionist in a sort of brothel. She also sells truffles and strudels in some bars and restaurants. And, in her leisure hours, she gives massages in the non subleased rooms of his leased flat in Palma. Thirty euros an hour. This month, she is paying off her flat in France.
Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón
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