The Accordion Player and his Wife

One of the sad aspects of traveling is coming face to face with the poverty in many regions of the world and the people who live with it on a daily basis. I recall one night in a subway in Paris where a beautiful sad voice was echoing through the underground tunnels. As I kept walking I came upon a fragile old woman singing in Arabic and asking for donations. In Oaxaca, right off the main plaza, I came upon this couple amongst the throng of tourists, cafes, and souvenir stands. Originally, their little boy was sitting in between them. After having witnessed this scene in many parts of the world, I am embarrassed to admit that the tendency is to continue walking. But this time I stayed and listened to him play a melancholic tune on his accordion. I began wondering how many years have they been here, playing tunes in exchange for the leftover coins in tourists pockets. He finished his tune so I left a donation and continued exploring the Oaxacan streets. On my return, their little boy was no longer with them. Just the two of them, doing what they have probably been doing for years. I went across the street to take a photo then went up to them and dropped another a donation in her tray. She just nodded her head,  showing her appreciation, without opening her eyes. As I walked away I could still hear the sad accordion playing behind me.

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Nadezda ZimmermanSeptember 12, 2013 - 10:06 am

Very sad but at the same time warm story and photo.

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