On my way back home from office, I was riding in a bus, when two beggars entered in on bus stop. Those were ones that usually go to busses, one with accordion, male gipsy, and a kid or young girl, with a cap for collecting money. Usually, there are more of them during autumn, but I guess this winter was too long and there are some mouth to feed. Or, which is more common, they "work" for someone for it has become more organized.
Anyway. The man with accordion was a young man in his mid twenties, dressed in what he probably thought looks cool and "ready for action" alike in his circle of friends. I didn`t liked him at once. Scorn in his eyes showed me exactly what he thought about us. A "money collector" was a girl, 15 or 16 years old, looking a bit ashamed and confused. Woolen knitted cap for money in her hands. She separated from him the moment they entered and sat in an empty seat close to the door. It is usual for them to ride few bus stops, sing few folk songs, collect the money and then leave. I know they would then cross the street and wait for another bus in different direction. And do the same thing all over again. Simple and efficient.
He started to sing – to my surprise he knew how to play accordion well enough and even his voice was not annoying, like it usually is with his "colleagues". But she was new in "business". After two songs, she came to him, confusion and a bit of shame on her face, asking:"Shall I start now?" She asked him so quietly that I could not hear her at all, but read from her lips. A girl that should be in school or at home doing some homework. Instead she was here, trying unsuccessfully to cover her embarrassment. And that ass looked at her with anger in his eyes, and yelled, irony and scorn in his voice: "Well, don`t…!!!" And he managed to do that in between two verses of some stupid song he sang at the moment. Some happy verses in an unhappy moment…
Her face became red, she looked at the floor and started to collect, holding that white knitted cap in front of her. Waiting in silent expectation for people to toss some money. Moved from one part of the bus to another, observed by her angry companion.
I put few coins I have found in my pocket. The cap was almost empty, not much luck in that bus.
Face a bit pale. No expression, except resignation. Her eyes looking somewhere at… nothing….

Photo found here.

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92 Responses to Beggars

  1. SittingFox says:

    One of those insightful and worrying moments that life presents. Poor girl. When I was in India, I remember seeing beggars with amputated limbs who had been left in train stations to collect money. I don't know if they were brought there by relatives, or exploited by an organised gang. Actually, the whole thing puts me in mind of the childrens' novel Star of Light by Patricia St. John, about a little blind girl who is sold to a beggar (I think it's loosely based on her own observations as a missionary in Morocco).

  2. thetomster says:

    Darko, you are a good … hm, what is it … your not like a spectator more like an observer; I guess … and not focusing on the spectacular things … poor girl, yes, there are so many of them all day long working for this organized beggars … and they are organized very well …and they do make money … not the ones that are like the girl that you have seen, I guess looking at this situation and not looking away and turning your head makes a difference, even if it wasn't a big profit they had on this ride … as I said it's well organized … crime … in Serbia, India, Indonesia, Germany … everywhere … and as hard as it seems to be or feel sometimes it's the right thing to find some coins then … thanks for sharing :up:

  3. Spaggyj says:

    Poor kid. *shakes head*

  4. L2D2 says:

    You are one of the most observant people I know, Dare, and you never miss details. You made me see this scene. That's a talent.We aren't bothered in Tyler with too much of this sort of thing. We get the people on street corners sometimes with signs saying Homeless—Will work for food. Most of them actually won't work if you offer them a job—they just want the money. Poor girl. She probably got raked over the coals, and perhaps something worse, at the end of that day. In some cultures, begging is considered a legitimate and honorable job.

  5. Dacotah says:

    That's so sad, I feel bad for her.

  6. ellinidata says:

    Many kids are enslaved and forgotten , they start from begging and later continue with prostitution and selling drug… Sad that Society is just watching and does nothing for them …Seeing the future rotten right in frond of our eyes :(Laws are made for adults by adults, kids have no voice, why we are not speaking for them?In the USA there are so many kids "run from home" it is alarming! If this girl is so young, where are her parents? It is very sad …my prayers will include all lost kids ..Thanks Darko for bringing to us the issue,and make us to see through your eyes a very important,and common problem ,a problem with no borders…

  7. gdare says:

    Thanks, all. It was not only the fact that she was maybe forced to do that. Maybe she was even promised something, I don`t know. But the way she acted showed me that she knows this is wrong, she still feels that life is not supposed to be like that. That she cares about herself – or at least she tries. This is what got me so hard at that moment.Today, there could be hope for her. Tomorrow? I don`t think so.

  8. MirabelaTM says:

    That's so sad, to see children like this 😦 and not in schools where they should be. Yes, that's organized as Dirk said. I was waiting at the train station when I saw some kids begging. They were I think 6-7 years old. Later I saw them giving the money they got to some man. I thought..they have to give to him so they will have where to sleep and to get some food too.

  9. KYren says:

    I have made a photo album on the child labour in India theme on my blog. You see Darko, when we avoid the young ones, we avoid our very foundation, the future of our species. If we do so, don't wonder if there's suffering, poverty, blind beliefs and ignorance in the world.

  10. Stardancer says:

    Originally posted by KYren:

    …When we avoid the young ones, we avoid our very foundation, the future of our species. If we do so, don't wonder there's suffering, poverty, blind beliefs and ignorance in the world.


  11. sanshan says:

    I'm not exactly sure what I want to say about this. Sometimes it is easy to speculate and judge about beggars lives, but it is harder to look right at them, in their eyes and acknowledge them as people. It's like when there is a disaster in the world and everyone just presses that donate button without thinking too much . So many people just toss coins to beggars like there are only stray dogs begging for scraps, and then they think they have done a good deed. Having lived in China and encountering the beggars on the streets here in Vancouver, I know this is such a complex situation, and that is because everyone has her own story.

  12. gdare says:

    It seems that it doesn't matter if society, or a country, is rich or poor. There are beggars everywhere. Sometimes they are just sitting in a dirt of a sidewalk with a can or cardboard box; some of them has the note saying why they need to live like that; sometimes they will come in the pub selling key holders or other stuff no one really need; some of them would sing in bus or just lie that they are returning from abroad and needed some money to got home. Some will offer to wash a car or windshield… Some of them are organised and the rest are desperate. The difference, as you said it San, is in their eyes. Everything could be seen in their eyes. Some of them just don't care, they are used to their kind of life. Accepted it. And even if they pull the face of a poor person, they could not trick me.The rest of them are like that girl.

  13. L2D2 says:

    It's been proven that many of these street people, if given the chance to get out of that way of life, will refuse to do so. For some, it is a freedom from responsibility and any chains that bind. They prefer their freedom to regular meals and a soft bed. I don't understand their mentality. but I've seen documentaries and a lot of them live that way because they want to live that way.

  14. ellinidata says:

    Originally posted by L2D2:

    For some, it is a freedom from responsibility and any chains that bind. They prefer their freedom to regular meals and a soft bed. I don't understand their mentality.

    I agree , I have seen it in the soup kitchens I volunteer once a month … they prefer to be hungry than in a schedule… Many Americans do the same with jobs, despite of the hard times these past years, there are many that prefer to live on welfare than working and wake up every morning… Sadly they get away with it ,we end up paying extra taxes for them, when they watch soap Operas every morning! :down: (please note I said "some" there are many that can give a leg and an arm to find a job, and eventually they do )

  15. Dacotah says:

    Sad the kids are put into these situations. 😦

  16. edwardpiercy says:

    "Happy verses in an unhappy time"And your writing here is an unhappy verse. A lot of those groups still function very much as close-knit clans. They don't interact with others much except for their money making activities, and they have their own social hierarchies and live by their own set of rules. And let's just say that modern Feminism hasn't quite hit most of those groups yet. It is a good reminder that we are not that far away from the days of Oliver Twist and Les Miserables. Thanks for the story! :up:

  17. qlue says:

    :awww:.Poverty and greed are two of the greatest evils of our times.

  18. SqueakeyCat says:

    poor girl. i know how she feels, as i seen it a lot when i lived in Michigan (Detroit area). never knew them to ride the buses though. but i can't say they never did, as most people in detroit dressed the same, whether people living on the street or people that had homes.if she is going to continue to do this, she really needs to find some other companion, cuz she sounds like she won't last very long with this fellow. and he needs to be more polite to her, if he is teaching her the ways of those people, instead of sneering at her and being mean.

  19. gdare says:

    No way he could be more polite to her. In these levels of society, women are not respected – not to even mention love – they are considered good only for hard labor, raising kids and cooking. As Ed mentioned, they live in 18th century and relations among them are based on a raw power. The strongest is the ruler. That applies to families too.

  20. There2ia says:

    Darko… It happens a lot here in Indonesia, I don't want to say anything here but doing good deeds is not by giving away our coins to the looked so poor one. You will find a lot of children around malls and their mothers are waiting somewhere. once I saw the mother counted a bag which is full of money.once I found an old woman sitting in front of a small supermarket. someone told me that she could collect a lot of money. when her nephew asked her to stop, she asked him whether he could earn as much as her or not.

  21. SqueakeyCat says:


  22. There2ia says:

    If you visit Surabaya, You can find a board to remind people not to give away any coins on the street and if people do it, they will be fined. As far as I know it is just written rules. They don't really make the rules in a real action.It is said on the board that any coins you share will make people get lazy. But now You can see people who used to be beggars on the cross road sell newspapers. Now some become more productive.actually… it is for safety too. It is very dangerous to open wallet or bag at the traffics. The red light is not long and sometimes when it is green some are still busy looking for coins or small money in their bags.

  23. KYren says:

    I just want to say that stereotyping isn't good. The story of Darko is evident that the girl as an individual would prefer to be out of the situation if given a chance, that is an access to education, giving money is never an option in my book. At least the kids should have an option if not the adults. Apathy, type casting, stereotyping is not the proper answer. We deprive ourselves of good talented people if we group and stereotype.

  24. BabyJay99 says:

    😦 Begging is illegal here…

  25. BabyJay99 says:

    😦 Begging is illegal here…

  26. sanshan says:

    Almost everything is illegal in Singapore.

  27. There2ia says:


  28. There2ia says:

    even for Gum…isn't it?But You have dealt with well I think…

  29. L2D2 says:

    Don't here either, Aadil. People don't mess up Texas.

  30. qlue says:

    On the other hand, you don't have to step over heaps of litter when you're walking down the street in Singapore. :yes:.

  31. BabyJay99 says:

    Yes almost everything :DIn Singapore, no gum, no beggars allowed, no trash around, no strike, no war. Guess Singaporean (like me) too busy working. :lol:Singapore is a 'fine' and green city.:up: :DNow this give me an idea to sent 'Singapore Fine T-shirt' to all our Castle members :yes:

  32. There2ia says:

    dood Idea, Leazz…Indonesian rich families like gooing to Singapore very much

  33. gdare says:

    I am busy these days so I don`t have much time to be here. This is why I didn`t answer to every person, rather left it as an open discussion.And now, subject is slightly changing from beggars to Singapore t-shirts πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

  34. L2D2 says:

    Not a big jump at all when you consider who is doing the talking here on your post. hahaha

  35. There2ia says:

    Darko… yes… Singapore is no beggars. And There is a survey about beggars life in Indonesia. It is an independent survey. There is a small village in one of island in Indonesia. All of the villagers are beggars. They go to big city near the island. But People will not find any bad houses in the village. Their houses are good and their income is more than what people who work at office might have. And once a boss of beggars was interviewed. He said that each beggar has to hand in a certain amount of money each day. The boss has a very expensive car, HONDA CRV.

  36. sanshan says:

    Ok Darelingk time for a new post! :knight:

  37. L2D2 says:

    Congratulations on making Member of the Week, Dare. I knew it was going to happen. God, I love it when I get to say, "I told you so." Where's your MOTW post?Oops, I hope no one noticed that comment before I edited it. Posted it then looked and I had written "Mother of the Week" hahahahah

  38. ellinidata says:

    Congratulations on becoming the newest MOTW :hat: :yes:W00t!!!! :drunk: :drunk: :hat: :hat: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :yes: :yes: :cheers:

  39. PainterWoman says:

    We have a few beggars around only we call them 'transients'. Sometimes they will be at an intersection of a street with a sign saying they need money or food. Some people hand them money out their car window. I try to look the other way. A couple of times I have given them a bottle of water or a packaged food item if I've just been to the grocery store. Occasionally, one will begin to approach me in a store parking lot and I hurriedly walk into the store. I don't like it at all when they come up to me. One was standing right behind me when I was filling the gas tank up and scared the daylights out of me. I never heard him. I immediately went to the manager and the beggar took off. I'm sure glad it wasn't night time. I might have peed my pants. I remember many beggars in Europe. There they call them gypsies. One, in particular, was a young woman with a baby. She said nothing, just stuck her hand out. My friend and I tried to ignore her but they invade your space and get very close trying to intimidate you. I don't like it at all. My friend gave her a bottle of water and the girl finally walked away. If you look at them, they will approach you, so we tried never again to look at them.

  40. Stardancer says:

    Congrats on being MOTW, Darko! Very well-deserved!:hat::hat::hat::hat::up:

  41. There2ia says:

    Darko… It will not be a bout t shirt anymore but there will be about YOU…. he he he

  42. There2ia says:

    HEY….Darko…Congratulation on being The Member of The Week….Well done Darko…Keep working….You will write what you feel, won't you?… wake up… Get surprosed!!!:knight:

  43. BabyJay99 says:

    Sir Darko :PYeah!! Now from beggars to T-shirts to MOTW!!!

  44. sanshan says:

    Ok. Back to important things now. πŸ™‚ (discussing your post)Today I was driving home along a busy stretch of road. At the intersection median there was a young girl sitting down playing her guitar (rather badly) and her friend carrying a sign that said "Spare change please for food or music lessons". :confused:Okay, often at this intersection there are beggars and they are always young people. First of all, not a great place to beg I think, it's an intersection for cars, although they keep coming back so maybe that's not the case. Anyway, first of all I had no change. But secondly, I didn't want to give them anything because they both had several very elaborate tattoos and very stylish green hair. It wasn't dirty green hair, but shiny well groomed green hair. I kept thinking if you have enough money for those tattoos, piercings and green hair (and the fancy guitar) then why are you begging. Was I right to judge them in this way? Are they any less deserving than those who deliberately dirty themselves up to earn more money?

  45. gdare says:

    Linda, I am very busy at the moment, hell, I even need to go to work today (saturday) in order not to be stuck at office in monday :faint: So, no new ppost today, maybe I will manage to do it tomorrow.Thanks everyone for your kind words :happy:Pam, they are not that scary here, actually, I have never seen them "working" during night. And you are right, they know how to sneak. Once I was taking some money from bankomat and suddenly one with a kid was standing behind me looking at money like she will grab it. I yelled at her and she moved few steps away. She was one of those "organised".San, sometimes a beggar would approach and ask a money for beer or cigarettes. No way I would give for any of those, especially because they are strong enough to work. And I told them so.And usually I don`t give money to those in busses but something in that girl`s eyes moved me…

  46. ogvictor says:

    yeah man! keep rocking… good things are always paid… i like the way you speak from daily experience… πŸ’‘

  47. gdare says:

    Victor, thanks πŸ™‚ and welcome to my blog :)Mit, usually they don`t have families; or their families don`t care about them; or their families are beggars like them. This is a sad "world"…

  48. thaodp says:

    Reading this several times. I could see the eyes of that girl. Poor her. When I was a kid, going to a market with my parents, sometimes I saw beggars – mostly eldly ones. I'd cried once or twice because I thought they looked like my grandparents.Now, when I go out, I see many beggars, including all ages. They are in markets, bus stations, everywhere. Still shiver when I see an old one. I wonder where their sons/daughters are, Why they don't take care of their parents? However, what annoys me the most is that I can see many young, strong man/woman asked for some money without any shame on their eyes. Seriously, they are much heathier than many people I know who always work hard everyday for living!!

  49. studio41 says:

    sad story- beautiful picture.

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