In big cities, buskers come in all shapes and sizes. In Italy, we found a man tucked away down a side alley playing the accordion beautifully, however, there were others dressed up as centurions in the busier parts of the city, asking for tips aggressively. In France, we found multiple street performers, some dancers and some who offered tarot readings on the curb. In the Czech Republic, there were more musicians and a few renaissance fair-esque actors. Each city has its own story to tell and one of the easiest ways to find out what it is is to find the buskers.
When we were in Switzerland, we stumbled across a busker who was performing a mix of magic and comedy. We only stopped because there was a large group of people surrounding the man. We all know what curiosity does. Through gaps, we were able to see a few tricks, ranging from the familiar penny-in-the-ear one to a few sleight of hand ones that made us chuckle.
We stood near the back of the crowd alongside a Frenchman, a lady from Spain, and a small group of German tourists. It seemed that none of us could see the act properly, but after a little while, the busker found a box that he could stand on. Up on his mini-pedestal, he was visible to more of the crowd, but he looked at us specifically and waved.
“Can you all see clearly now?” he asked and we all nodded before replying.
(Please feel free to add your own rimshot noise here.)
Jokes aside, sometimes all you have to do is slow down and watch the buskers because although they might not have groundbreaking performances, they’re the little things that give a place heart and soul.