beggars

A street in ‘my’ barrio, Madrid

While there were some amusing headings I could have used, I resisted.

I found, this trip, the sight of beggars disturbing. I am not sure why. There are more in India and Indonesia. Maybe there are so many there that I became inured to the sight of them.

One of the many conversations I had with myself revolved around why , on some days I was happy to contribute and why on others I wasn’t. And to whom I contributed also. Some days there was no rhyme or reason and the amount I gave each day varied.

Why, for example did I not give to the man who informed me he had “molto deformities” (molto? in Spain?) but gave a couple of Euros to the sad, but relatively well dressed man who sat while the crowds pushed past him on Palm Sunday with a sign that said “tengo hambre’. I think it’s because he looked as if he was a victim of the economic crises and there may have been a bit of “there but for fortune…..’ going on in my brain.

The smartest beggar was the young women who stood, with her child, beside the ticket office to Tigre in Buenos Aires. She wasn’t begging, she was arranging her child’s clothes and talking to her, but she had a very good pile of 25cent pieces, the exact change from buying a ticket to Tigre with 4 pesos. She deserved the money.

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One thought on “beggars

  1. I was amazed, last time I went to the US, over how many well-dressed people were begging. When asked, the response was “the pension doesn’t meet the cost of living”. The Vietnam vets said the same thing but in more colourful language. Mind you, the best reason I saw was on a sign a young guy at Fisherman’s Wharf held – on one side “Research into alcohol” and on the other, “It’s for beer, really!”

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