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Gypsies in Rome - what to say to them?

Old Sep 30th, 2004, 09:20 AM
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Gypsies in Rome - what to say to them?

Anyone have any good phrase,not too long, to say to gypsie kids or adults who may accost us in Italy?
Not too vulgar, just to let them know to leave us alone.

any suggestions?
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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"Not too vulgar"...why not?
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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A very firm "No!" is understood
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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go away = vai via
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 09:29 AM
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Odds are you will not be accosted with gypsies in ROme. I've been there on 3 occasions and only one saw (or at least noticed) gypsies.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 09:29 AM
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Vai (rhymes with buy) via (vee ah)
it means "go away".

you can then say "or I'll call the police"

"o chiamero la polizia"

(oh kee-ahm-air-oh la pole eetz ee ah)

shouting 'vai via" loudly will probably be enough. they don't want to draw attention to themselves.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 09:32 AM
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They really don't accost you. You'll see them either:
a) sitting around someplace that has a lot of people walking by with a basket in front of them - the women sometimes have small babies in their arms - just walk on by without making eye contact.

b) playing an instrument, or singing, with a suitcase in front of them for money. If you enjoy it, drop some change in. If not, just keep on walking.

c) someone who is phyically disabled or deformed (may be outright asking for money).

If anyone asks for money and you don't want to give them any, a simple smile and 'No, grazie.' does the trick. I've never been accosted by anyone.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 10:26 AM
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Parker,

I had totally different experiences with gypsies. They can be very agressive.

The "baby" that they carry is usually just a doll. They will either push the "baby" or a newspaper to you..supposedly to show you something. while you are distracted either they ..or an accomplice picks your pocket.

We had an incident near the coliseum with 2 gypsies. One of them pulled on our friend's camera bag as if to steal it. When he reached out to stop her( with his arms outstretched) the other gypsy was about to go for his ( now uprotected wallet). I rushed over and pushed her aside and loudly yelled NO.
I'd call that accosting, wouldn't it?

In Paris...we met a couple who had gypsy kids surround them. While distracted..they slit his jacket and removed his wallet from behind.

I don't care that it isnt politically correct...gypsies are anything but laid back.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 10:34 AM
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There are far fewer gypsies in Rome now than there were a few years ago. They are nowhere near the threat that some people believe they are. I was in Rome in the spring for a week and didn't encounter a single one.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 10:42 AM
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I was told many years ago to say either Sulla Mama or sul vostra(or vostro) mama to the gypsies to make them back off. (obviously this is Italian, and I guess works only in Italy...) It means "on your mother". Meaning whatever nasty thing they are attempting to pull on you, the bad luck is transferred back to their own mother. Since they are very superstitious, they respond to this.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 11:47 AM
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We just returned from Italy yesterday. We never saw a "group" of gypsies in Rome. I suppose the beggars in front of various churches could be called "gypsies", if by that one means they appear to be of eastern European ancestery. We were never accosted by any of them, and never felt threatened. You are far more likel y to be "accosted" by someone trying to sell you a rose, or a knock-off designer handbag than you are someone begging for money.

We felt perfectly safe in Rome. I must admit that I was a bit aprehensive before we got there, but the experience was terrific!!
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 11:58 AM
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Ignore them, don't make eye contact and walk away fast. They'll get the message. If anyone gives them even one penny--they'll all swarm around you like flies on.....
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 12:03 PM
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We were staying in an apartment on Via Frattina this April and there was a man on the street playing the violin. Since we had our windows open, our first morning we were woken by the music, which was wonderful! We tipped this man when we saw him later that day, playing again on the street. Of course, by the end of our stay (10 days), we wanted to drop a pot on his head. He played the same 4 songs, over and over again!
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 01:42 PM
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Why not sing to them?
(here's a suggestion from Neil Diamond)

Money talks
But it don't sing and dance
And it don't walk
But if I could have you here with me
I'd much rather be
Forever in blue jeans, babe

They will leave you alone thinking you are unsafe around their children.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 01:50 PM
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Very funny platzman. Which brings to mind has anyone ever tried to pickpocket a Gypsy? They must have alot of "found" cash and jewelry on them. Just a thought.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 01:52 PM
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I WAS acosted in Rome by two "gypsy" girls about 10 or 11 years old. They were wearing a lot of jewelry and bright lipstick. They came up to me, one carrying a newspaper (good signal of trouble) and the other started pulling on my arm and kissing my hand saying "American? - we love Americans"
While she was tugging on me the other girl was going for my pockets, shielding herself with the newspaper. I knew what was going on, nearly broke the fingers on the little girl's hand as I grabbed it from my pocket and twisted as hard as I could, yelled "POLICE" and they were gone in an instant.
That was three or four years ago.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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That reminds me of a trip to Rome in May, 1996. On the subways and around major tourist sites that visit, I kept hearing people singing an early 60's song called "Guantanamero" with guitar.
That song kept going through my head on the flight home.
Whats the deal? Did the gypsies hold some kind of symposium? Did they all hire the same consultant?
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 02:04 PM
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Like the Peruvian flute groups, around the world, who all play the old Simon & Garfunkel song "The Sounds of Silence"

What's that about?
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 02:06 PM
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While waiting for our train to arrive in the Florence Train Terminal, a woman got uncomfortably close to me. I said "Vattene" (go away!)...she took off in a heartbeat.

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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 02:50 PM
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We did not have any difficulty with the exception of attempting to board the train at which points there were attempts to wrestle our bags from our hands under the guise of helping us. We held firm . I just kept saying no, grazie and pulling back on the suitcase handle. It seemed to work.
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