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.