Cat Burglar? Tightrope Act? Lunatic? We’ll Never Know

By: leelefever on November 19, 2006 - 2:34am

 This morning we experienced one of the strangest, most perplexing things ever.  To give you an idea, at 7:30AM this morning, from our 6th story bathroom window in Barcelona, I watched a guy walk across the gap between the roofs of two buildings on a wooden garden umbrella. I’m not kidding.

Let me start from the beginning.  We awoke to the sound that was something like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz climbing up a fire escape – all bangs and crashes.  It sounded like once he got up onto the roof (we’re on the top floor), he then dropped a bag of kindling sized wood onto the street below, 50 feet down. I rose to investigate these weird sounds.

Looking out of our bathroom window, I looked up to the roof to see the heels of a pair of feet shuffling across the very edge of the roof above me with about an inch of each foot hanging off.  I thought it might be a suicidal person.  Then, after a scuffle, an umbrella appeared right above our bedroom window.  The garden-sized umbrella stretched from the roof of our building to building next door over a small alley about 70 feet below. 

After a bit, the umbrella started to bow and tremble, obviously under significant weight.  I went to the bathroom and looked out the window again and caught eyes with the perpetrator for an instant. He was taking practice runs on the umbrella. A bit scared, I retreated to the bedroom window view, where I watched this guy walk very carefully across the umbrella to the building next door; a feat of bravery and amazing stupidity to be sure. You can see his foot and leg in this photo…


Now in plain view, he proceeded about his business with a cigarette in his mouth the entire time. This is "Roof Guy".

On the other building, he found an aluminum step ladder and proceeded to carry it up and over the terrace of the building to the other side, out of my view. He seemed to care little that he was making a HUGE scene with the ladder banging about like a wind chime.  We were both concerned that he may be trying to get into buildings and considered packing our valuables and leaving for a while.  We didn’t. 

He returned to the visible side of the building with the ladder a bit later and tried to place it in between the two buildings, perhaps to come back across to our building.  This time, as he swung the ladder out over the alley it unfolded into the A-frame position, perpendicular to the wall, much to his disway. For a while he was stuck – the ladder was caught on the edge of the building and he had no where to go as the ladder trapped him against the wall over the alley. He finally coerced and kicked at the ladder until it cooperated and I snapped this picture as he fell back over the wall with the ladder in hand. If I wasn’t a bit more freaked out I would have laughed out loud (and taken more pictures).  It was amazingly poetic. 

He was an English guy who seemed to be talking to someone the whole time.  I heard “of course they’ll call the cops”, “no cops yet” and something about “catalan drug lords”.  When a baby started crying, he said “oh screw you!”, prompting Sachi to say “… “a model citizen”.

He didn’t seem to be drunk or intent on breaking into homes. He just seemed intent on using whatever he could find to move around the roofs of the area.  He had no regard for the height of his adventures – a misstep and he would have met his end.  What he lacked in grace he made up for in confidence.

About 2 hours later the police arrived and I peered out of the bathroom window again to see them questioning him on the ground below, much to the enjoyment of everyone on the street.

 He had emptied his pockets and was pleading that he did nothing wrong.  I think he may have moved the umbrella from our roof-top terrace (which can surely be found on the neighbor’s roof now) and generally caused a scene, but I don’t think he was out to hurt anyone or take any property for himself.  He was just a weirdo climbing around on the roofs of Barcelona on a Sunday morning and I really, really wish I knew why.

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Mystery Milk

By: leelefever on February 15, 2006 - 2:28am

Mystery Milk, originally uploaded by LeeLeFever_TwinF.

Just like home, you find your basic cheap hotel on the outskirts of any town in Australia. After practically being berated by a woman at the A&A hotel down the street, we ended up at the Whitsunday Palms Hotel in Proserpine, Queensland, Australia (it has AC - YAY!).

The older gentleman running the place is skinny and tattooed in the way that reminded me of a WWII vet. He and his little white yippy dog welcomed us with the normal but more charming motel spiel.

Even before we paid, he said "Oh, let me get you some fresh milk" and came back with a metal cream server filled with cold milk, and covered with a rather dainty weighted doiley (pictured above) as if was as normal as the room key which he had yet to provide.

I said nothing, but gathered the key, paperwork and my new cup of milk and walked out to join Sachi, with a silly grin on my face that I'm sure said - well, this is something new.

The best we figure, it's for coffee or tea, even though there are milk packs in the mini-fridge. All I could think about was how well the new milk will go with my value packs of cereal in the morning.

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