So I was sitting at the coffee shop I've adopted, diligently studying my Spanish, when this itty bitty girl, maybe 2 years old, toddled up to me clutching a Pooh bear. She said hi, smiled, and handed me her bear. I immediately suffered a heart attack and had to be revived with those zap machines like on ER. I admired her bear for a moment, and gave it back, upon which she wandered over to the guy next to me, gave him the bear, and jumped up and down. So. Unbelievably. Cute. One thing I've noticed is that children here are much more friendly and fearless than their North American counterparts - maybe they don't get "never ever talk to strangers" drilled into their heads from day one? Maybe they don't get lessons in shouting "this man is not my father!!"? Maybe they're just cooler? There seems to be more of a tendancy to admire kids and babies on the street, so maybe they just feel that it's their right to be as adorable as possible. I don't know, but I like it. Anyway, I wish I'd had my camera. The cuteness of the kid trumped any creepiness involved in taking pictures of someone else's kid.
Also, I was bullied in the nicest possible way into purchasing a leather bracelet I'll never wear by a fellow walking around selling them - after I politely declined he said he was going to make me a present, a good luck trinket, and whipped out this litte cross with a scroll thing out of wire right there, after which I would have felt like the worst Scrooge not dropping a couple bucks on a leather good. He also fashioned me a pair of wire earrings on the spot, which I do like and will wear, so I guess we both won out in the end. I'm an easy mark anyway you cut it, but I'm a fan of good-luck charms made of wire - I once gave a panhandler in New York a couple cigarettes 'cause I didn't have any change, and he gave me in return a tiny bicycle made of copper. "It's good luck" he said, "and good for the blood." Good enough for me - tiny bicycle! for the blood! wheee!