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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 533
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm With Stupid wrote:
I've never really come from a place in the UK where we've had a lot of beggars, but the ones I've seen have generally been sat down and merely asked you for money as you passed. Certainly none of the intrusion you get in Vietnam. Although I did once read about a beggar in London who made a fortune by approaching people as they went to the atm (spent it all on heroin again though). I'd say the most common one is when I'm getting petrol.


I haven't been to the UK in years but, when I was living there, I did have beggars come up to me quite a bit. I also used to see lots of them just sitting on the street, in the Tube etc. Anyway, I agree with mark on this one. Getting approached by beggars here is nowhere near as common as a lot of places, including many parts of the First World, and, generally speaking, I don't find Vietnamese beggars that intrusive at all.

Intrusive touts are a different matter. I've included a link below which might interest some of you and I used to see those kids around all the time. One of my friends actually got bitten on the arm by the girl in the story when she refused to buy some flowers.

http://tuoitrenews.vn/cmlink/tuoitrenews/society/man-arrested-for-abusing-brutalizing-children-1.97290
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2003
Location: Paradise, Paradise, Paradise!

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:52 pm    Post subject: Re: what is funny to me Reply with quote

mark_in_saigon wrote:
What is amazing to me is that the beggars in the west are more aggressive and numerous than in VN. It is rare for me to encounter actually begging here, though we certainly have our share of people who will overcharge you in VN. In my native city in the states, the beggars on the street corners can be quite aggressive, and the experience is a lot more unpleasant than here. They also have their little act down, one can see them exchanging their cardboard signs as they change beggars every hour or so, obviously whatever message they give does not strictly apply to any one beggar, they just all have a pitch, more or less the same. Hungry, homeless, need work, god bless. I don't see much scripted begging there though, like pretending an illness or whatever. Instead, our guys are mostly substance abusers, but they do try to hide that fact, or at least not flaunt it while begging.


I have observed the same. When I was in Denver one summer, a number of years ago, I used to pass the same street corner daily, and there was a "homeless" beggar there, with a sign. I got to talking to him, he was a pretty cool cat. Anyways, he told me all about his gig: He has a good street corner staked out, he hits the AM rush hour crowd from one corner, hits the lunch hour rush from another spot and then hits up the commuters going home from the opposite corner he starts on. Told me he makes $80 on a slow day, about $120 average and sometimes hits 200 bucks a day. He's an alcoholic (not passing judgment) and he said he buys booze and rents a motel room every night.

Anyways, he asked if I believed him, I said I wasn't convinced, so he hands me an extra sign (he had great slogans that really made you laugh) and I stood on a corner, wearing my camo M-65 field jacket, it wasn't 5 mins before a guy in a pick-up asked me if I was a vet (I served in the US Army) so I said sure, he handed me a twenty and said to have lunch and some beers on him...

So, I was convinced, gave the street entrepreneur his sign back and went on my way...
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