Sunday, May 28, 2006

Audacity of Beggars

It is common to encounter beggars on the streets in China and the experience can be quite fascinating for Singaporeans who do not really come across beggars back at home. Two specific encounters with beggars left a deep impression on me...

The first incident was when touring one of the tourist attractions... This beggar approached us and when rejected, decided to give us a piece of his mind scolding us for being stingy, etc. What audacity!

The second incident occurred when we were waiting outside the restaurant for our tour bus to pick us up. Our local guide got into an argument with this beggar whom supposedly had been begging in that spot for at least the past 5 years and earns more than our guide!

It is not advisable to give money to beggars as there is no way we are able to ascertain the truth of their seemingly hopeless plight. There are far too many fake beggars on the streets of China who prey on the kindness of people. Always donate to charities who have the experience and ability filter the truely needy from those out to make a quick buck.

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