Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Spare some change?

Visitors to Singapore will notice that there are very few beggars to be found on the streets. I would love to tell you that it's because the relative affluence of the population and efficient public funds distribution rendered begging unnecessary. The truth is that the police will 'gently' disperse any beggars found on the streets.

London, however, does not enforce such a policy as far as I can tell. Most of those in need of charity would sit passively by the streets waiting for the occasional coin thrown into a cup placed in front of them. Some are a little more aggressive.

There is the middle aged woman who placed herself strategically at a choke point where I must pass through to get back home everyday. Below are our brief exchanges on two separate occasions,

"Sir, spare some change please…"
(blank look)
"But of course! What can I expect from the Japanese!" She spatted at my direction.

"Sir, spare some change please…"
(blank look)
"Oh, Chinese! They are all the same!" She spatted again at my direction.

I'm still looking for an alternative route home...

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LadyBanana said...

I hate these beggars.. I don't understand why they can't get themselves sorted out. It's not as if there is no social security for them in this country, that's if they are too lazy or unable to work.

I know most are alcoholics or drug users so I guess that's why they just can't get their lives together.

Eaststopper said...

The correct and proper response (I learnt it in Chicago) is to politely say "I am sorry". To stare or to look in their direction and not respond is considered rude. ;-)

My Bug Life said...

Hahha..Asians are always categorised as either Japanese or Chinese (mainland) and nothing else. I came across a lady, supposedly a "beggar" doing her rounds in several major shopping centres in the city. Looks like a full-time job for her.

waitingkitty said...

Why would the beggars expect that they are supposed to be given money just because they beg? I thought the govt give them welfare allowances if they are out of job? Why do they still have to resort to begging? I hope you will find an alternative route home soon...

Renee said...

Wow talk about class privilege responses...
@ladybanana you know most are because you have spoken to most of the homeless right? It has nothing to to do with a medical system that treats and releases people? Have you ever tried living on social security? Have you tried to pay for food housing and utilities..wow what a kind heart you have.


another over privilegd answer. Yeah life is easy and people want to live on the streets People beg because they find it fun and amusing of course. Yeah there is no better way to spend the day than to humiliate yourself by begging and watch as people treat you like your are invisible.

There seems to be a whole lot of the CULT OF I going on here.

Hoto said...

this guy on the photo don´t looks like somebody that really needs help he looks more like a tourist. take a close look at his cloth and you see what i mean

sabriena said...

this is mainly towards renee's comment:
Well, to be honest it isn't as easy as "just going out and getting the government to help you out". Also, it isn't as easy to blame hospitals and the social services for turning these people out.

I've BEEN there before. My whole family was homeless. We lived in a number of motels, friends houses, my grandmother's house (for like a week before she kicked us out).

I went out and got a job so that we could stay in those motels and at least have a roof over our head. We got ourselves out of being homeless and although it took 3 long years to do it, we did it.

We knew a bunch of homeless people who were drug addicts and alcoholics. Blaming these peoples lifestyle on a medical system or government is purely bullshit.

There's been plenty of people who go from absolutely nothing to something from helping THEMSELVES.

Ori said...

I once followed aggressively by a beggar somewhere in Liverpool. Really scared me. But other than that one, I met some nice homeless who made living by selling Big Issue. Sometimes I even talked with them especially if they had dog with them :))

pweng said...

I hate beggars too. They are annoying. Is that the only way they could make money? Beggars never say thank you after I give them something.