Normally when you see someone asking for money on a Metro train in Madrid it is an Eastern European Gypsy woman with baby in arms chanting her “una ayuda por favor, que Dios te bendiga” lament, or a musician or group of musicians playing for change. More and more, especially in my neighborhood, I am seeing homeless men from Eastern Europe who have lost their jobs due to the total paralysis of the construction sector.
But, I was truly shocked this morning when the person on the Metro begging for money was not a Gypsy woman or out of work Romanian but none other than my middle-aged castizo Spanish neighbor who I have been saying hello to in the hallways of my building for the past eight years.
President Truman had said, as I was reminded by my friend Angel, “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours”.