Captain George -- a boisterous Slovakian street musician -- had a stopover in Athens on his way to Asia to busk, so I invited him to hang out. We'd only ever met online through a street performers Facebook group. He was pretty cool in real life too. We went to an open mic hosted by my talented DJ and sitar-playing friend, Bill Hunchback, and also went out one night and busked in the centre in front of a small old church (after we got stopped by the cops trying to set up at plateia Monastiraki). Unfortunately, it was a bit quiet that night. The few people that were there though appreciated our efforts. I've been more or less living in Athens for well over a year and this was my first time street performing there!
I rescued some roses that were thrown out (because they were in full bloom -- still looked beautiful though!) and decided to give them out while I busked. Most people walked by with confused looks on their faces & were quite shy to take one. Reiterating 'they are free' helped, but I guess people are just not used to receiving gifts from strangers...
I tried a little social experiment while busking. I wanted to see how people reacted to this sign. I also wanted to see how I would feel about it. In two hours, only $2 was taken out. I was surprised. The $2 that left was taken by a well-dressed girl eating an ice cream. One guy warned me that the homeless folk in the area would take all the money. They didn't take a cent. Belmont Shore, California.
A homeless guy stood outside Granville train station with his hat as he held the door open for commuters. I busked opposite him. He was making more money than I did (which wasn't much). After a little while, he unexpectedly dumped the contents in my case and said "I wouldn't have given it to you if you weren't good." Wow. Vancouver, Canada.
Lisa Spykers is a singer, songwriter, piano player, acoustic guitarist, instrumental and primary school teacher, porridge chef, vegan caterer, author, nomad, and unstoppable force of nature.