Witch me

Here i am,standing there like a total witch.

It was a monday night. I was outside Da_An station going to meet my student for Chinese class. I got some french bread in my hands from the new-open bakery inside Da-An staion. I was waiting for the light to change to get across the road.
Then,a women in a wheel chair came to me.
She wanted me to buy some stuff from her and I just smiled at her and tried not to hurt her feeling.
But she didn’t want to give up.

“My husband is handicap,too.”

(What the hell…i started to feel uneasy.) Then she went on:

“You can afford to buy a bread but not helping me?”

(Shit…i couldn’t even look at her. I was just looking straight,praying that the light will change soon.)

“Why can’t you just offer me a help,young lady?”

(F***…stop that! Stop making me feel guilty for not buying anything from her…)

A high-school boy turned back and looked at me as if i’ve done something terrible.

The light changed. Thanks God…i took a big step and walked really fast trying to get rid of this i-look- like-a witch feeling. At one moment,i actually feel ugly myself. I couldn’t forget about that day so i am here to seek for help.

Am I really a cold-bloody person? I used to buy lots of stuff from the homeless,old people or handicap. But as i grow older i’ve become a little bit anesthetic cuz there’re too damn many poor people in the world. I can’t buy all the stuff from them! Guys,please tell me what will you do if you were me…i appreciate it

Beggars of all kinds are a nuisance, especially when they are as pushy as the one you described, and should not be tolerated in an affluent society like Taiwan’s. It is not acceptable for people to get away with aggressive, intimidating begging just because they are handicapped. Although she was purporting to sell something (chewing-gum, tissues, or whatever), her behaviour amounted to nothing more than begging larded with a heavy dose of emotional blackmail.

I am fully in favour of the government or private organizations creating special employment opportunities for handicapped people. Giving them the exclusive right to sell lottery tickets is a good example, and I’ll gladly go out of my way to buy from them (though they shouldn’t be allowed to pursue people and pester them to buy the tickets). Measures like these, as well as laws requiring businesses and public agencies to employ a certain percentage of handicapped people, and the provision of welfare payments for those who are absolutely unable to work, are the appropriate way to take care of these unfortunate members of society.

They should never need to resort to begging, and if I encounter them doing so, I will not give money to them or buy anything from them, no matter how pitiful they may appear, for to do so will only encourage them to continue begging and encourage others to follow their example.

If you really want to help them, it’s much better to give money to a trustworthy charity that is set up for the purpose of providing appropriate assistance to people in their condition.

So you were right not to give in, Jacana. It doesn’t make you a “witch”, cold-hearted, or anything else that’s bad.

Wow,wow,wow. You pick up all the sensitive issues! Absolutely superb!

My advice: You don’t have to feel bad about your behaviour. Your reaction is very normal. First you give, then you start to think just like you did.

In 1985 I visited India for the first time of my life. Before that I had been working mostly in European countries and North America where you seldom meet these sales people or beggars. I was totally terrified about the circumstances people lived in and the poverty. I was spending a lot of money to hepl these people but after two weeks there I realized that I can’t help them all. And later on found out that it was organized by groups of people who took advantage of all these poor people.

Actually this is not a probem in Taiwan compared to India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, …

I have one more example from maybe 4 years back. Visiting some customer in Vietnam together with colleagues from Singapore, Philippines and Vietnam. The evening befor the meeting we went out to get some dinner and walked around in Ho Chi Min City. Guess who the beggars attacked. Yes me! Because I was the only “whiteskin”. The problem here is that I was for sure the poorest guy of them all. These colleagues owned a fotune compared to me! The only reason why I was the target was that I am white.

But you are right “jacana”, sometimes it hurts quite bad not to give.
To comfort my conscience I use to donate some money now and then to different organisations helping people in need. If you give something in these countries to a begger you will soon have 100 of them around you. Easier to say no to one!

I usually go by the “look factor.” IF the beggar looks like he/she/it really needs the money, I will usually give some coinage. If they look healthy enough to play the banjo or whatever, I won’t. I’ve been to slums all over the world, and I have to say, suprisingly, that one of the worst areas in the world for theatrics in begging is in the Sultanahmet district in Istanbul. Mothers would paint their children, inject them with IV needles and the drip, and sit in front of shops asking for money. For some reason, there were more interesting beggars in Turkey than in any other country I have visited. The consensus in our group was that these were not real beggars (although maybe a few did really have sick children), they were just doing it to pick on tourists.


First, how can tell by looking, given that a desire to play the banjo is surely a mental health issue?
Second, if someone is unfortunate enough to be in the sad position of desiring to play the banjo, isn’t such a person even more deserving of all the help he can get?
Without your help, such a person could easily find himself drawn in future to the mandolin or even perhaps the bouzouki! :shock:
I mean seriously, would you give this man money?

Damn you, Sandman – now you’ve got the tune and lyrics of “When Bouzoukis Played” by Vicky Leandros running through my head, and it’ll probably stay there for at least the rest of today.

When I was in New York a few years ago an old woman interrupted our film shoot in Union Square, saying she needed money for food as she hadn’t eaten in three days. We happened to have bought one too many sandwiches, so I offered her the extra food we had. She just shot me one of the meanest looks I’ve seen (and believe me, I know mean looks), and shuffled away.

One of my fellow students, a guy from Nepal, actually paid a junkie on the street to act in his film. Unsurprisingly, he failed to show up the next day.

I think I would have been pretty pissed off if I met the situation you did. I’ve been approached twice in such a fashion, once at the Xinzhu train station and once recently at a bank teller window :shock: In each case I was very frank, and even downright rude to the (probably insane) person in question. But that’s just me.

Isn’t that picture from the part that Sandman had in the movie Deliverance that was cut?

I have been accousted be several beggars here wearing gold earrings. :?

punk ass high school kid could of bought the bread too. I hate that “your rich” attitude. so damn wrong. hell,buy me some bread, I can barely afford it myself. But things are turning around :smiley:


Marie Antoinette would have been up a creek in Taiwan. Hell, bread’s a luxury here, nevermind cake.

What an appropriate spelling error, given the nature of the last few posts.

What an appropriate spelling error, given the nature of the last few posts.[/quote]

yeah. wear our the good editors myself do not know… Ok drunlk post but almos beter than da slober.