That's the decision we try to make when we encounter beggars here or abroad.
They come in all forms: blind, disfigured, children, moms with babies, children carrying babies, healthy or unhealthy looking.
Some can look really pathetic. I used to see beggars on top of the walkway in Bangkok under scorching heat, with their palms folded in prayer. In Singapore they play musical instruments in the underground walkway. In Manila they approach your car near the traffic light.
Every beggar touches me in some way. They make me feel bad and wonder if it's worth it to open my bag or no.
The one beggar I will never forget was at Jatujak market in Bangkok. It was a middle-aged corpulent woman—a burn victim with no hair, no ears, no nose, no eyes—sitting on a wheelchair with a healthy partner/pusher that was using her as a begging tool.
The beggar munched greedily on a piece of juicy fruit that was dribbling down her chin.
You could imagine that the sense of taste was the only thing that could give her pleasure at that point, while sitting in that heat.
That kind of beggar, you don't just walk away. After giving her alms, I took a couple of photos, just because I take photos of anything I want to remember.
Jeroen scolded me. "Stop it. You can get beaten up doing that," he warned.
The following photos come from a Chinese website.
It shows a pair of beggars—a woman begging for a supposedly dying man.
A photographer follows them on the street, where the couple walks away when the coast is clear. They move to another location to beg, chill or count money and have a snack.
It will make you think about the next beggars you will encounter.
Here is a sight you might see while traveling
No more people. I think we're done here.
Hey, what the hell is that? Let's go!
Let's count the money
I think we have enough
Let's take this to go
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- To give or not to give