Torremolinos Tourist Information
Lookey Lookey Men
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This section isn't just about Lookey Lookey men, but also others that you will meet while you are sitting on a terrace or even while you are having a meal in a restaurant.
Lookey Lookey Men
The name comes from "Lookey, lookey here. Nice watches." but you are more likely to hear, "Good price".

Some people love them and others seem to hate them. Some are selling counterfeit goods and are probably not paying tax and possibly the profit is used to fund the mafia. Who knows? Either way, they are human so please don't just ignore them as so many tourists do and don't be rude (unless they are). Whether you buy is up to you.

What do they sell: trainers, watches, wooden animals, jewelry, electronic toys, blankets, socks & underpants, perfume, soft porn DVDs and last (probably there are more) but not least, roses. You can have as many as five or six rose sellers try you within an hour (and that can get annoying). I almost forgot the talking parrots.
Talking parrot

Feel free to haggle a bit. You can usually get a bit off, but don't be silly and suggest a quarter of the price. You might find it amusing but these guys have heard it all so many times....

Thinking about it, they are mostly men, though a few coloured women with babies in tow do sell jewelry.
These are not selling anything. They just want your euros (or cigarettes). For every beggar on the street, there are many more people in Spain who are also seriously struggling for money but aren't begging. For this reason I don't give to beggars.

Various groups collect food at or in supermarkets for distribution to those in need. I buy food to give to these because it is being spread more fairly to families that need it. For smaller groups, that I don't know, I usually buy baby food for them - I guess I'm just not very trusting.

Beggars come in various forms and a common one is a man with one adjustable crutch. These are adjusted to be too short as this makes it easier to fake a limp. Only one crutch is possible as the other hand is holding the plastic coffee cup for the money.

Another one is, usually a female, with a piece of a cardboard box with English words about having lots of kids and no job or money.

There are also a group that put a small trinket and a small card on your table. You can keep the trinket if you give some cash.

Some of these people are deaf (and probably a few pretend) but there are lots of deaf people who are not begging.

You might also find ones selling cigarette lighters and/or packets of paper tissues.

It's very common for complete strangers to ask for a cigarette. They are not beggars in the true sense but a ciggy costs 20 cents. Would you give them the cash. If not then don't give them a cigarette. The ciggies usually go into their pocket as they seem always to save them for Ron.

There are also beggars that do not move. They sit outside the doors of supermarkets. If they have an amputated limb, be sure that it will be on display and the prosthetic will be well hidden.
Take care as there are always thieves about. Don't have your wallet or mobile sticking out of your back pocket. Keep bags and handbags close to you - don't put them under the table in bars - put them on a chair or where you can see them. Take extra care in crowds in case pickpockets are about. None of this is special about Torremolinos but it is easy to become complacent after an hour in the sun and after a few vinos.
There are some good musicians and they are always worth encouraging with a few cents but there are also some that cannot play their guitar and really need to practise more. There are also the pee-takers that play three bars and then start coming round with the hat (or more usually the guitar upside down). If they entertain you then give them a few cents but if they don't entertain, well....
Lottery Sellers
These come in two types, official and other. You will spot them often with tickets fastened to their shirt and carrying a credit card machine. It is safe to buy from these people, though you may pay less in an official shop or at a kiosk.

You will also find people carrying just one or two tickets - always special lucky ones. Ask yourself, would you sell them if you knew they were lucky?
Charity Collectors
In the UK it's easy to tell whether a charity collector is official or not; they have ID badges and official sealed collecting tins.

Some are the same here, for example Cudeca (Cancer charity) and Crus Roja (Red Cross) but many others only have a sheet that has been laminated and includes a copy of their personal ID and other odds and sods. In some cases the collecting tins can be recognised as ones that can be bought in Chinese shops.

It is up to you, of course, but if there is any doubt about which bar the money will be spent in, I don't donate. Cudeca and Crus Roja are different and I will give them cash.

Recently we have seen the appearance of the American students trying to get people to sign up to pay a regular amount to international charities. These are also a nuisance in the UK.
There are more, of course, and I will add them as I remember them. Some come around selling packs of small cakes. No problem. If you want some, buy some. There are also ones selling plants. Buy if you like but probably not much use as a tourist.

In Málaga there are shoe shiners and in Benalmádena there are ones selling packets of sweets, car key rings and flashing plastic toys for kiddies but I haven't spotted them here.

Very occasionally there will be a fire eater, fire dancer or acrobat and they are usually worth a euro.

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Last updated 18th March 2020