Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Would you eat from a garbage bin? - WW

On my way back to the office after lunch one day, I was shocked to see this woman with a young toddler sleeping on her lap. This was on a busy street in China.

She was picking some food from the garbage bin and eating it!

Pedestrians simply walked past her as if she's transparent. I didn't slow down my foot-steps too, I was in a hurry to return to the office for an important meeting. During the meeting, the disturbing image kept playing over and over in my mind.

After my meeting, I went back to the street, trying to locate the woman. She was nowhere to be found.

That night, while having a steamboat dinner with my partners and staff at a restaurant, I felt very guilty. Here I was, with a big table laden with yummy food. It was more than what we could eat but they were still ordering like no tomorrow. In the end, lots of food was left over.

The image of the woman appeared again.....

Two days later, I spotted the same woman from afar. She was picking food from another garbage bin, I quickly walked towards her. Putting my hands into every pocket, I found a few hundred renminbi (Chinese currency).

I tapped the woman on her shoulder and gave her all my money.

"Stop eating this! Go get yourself and the baby some food."

Suddenly, two young ladies rushed towards me, screaming.......

Next post : A stunning revelation......


  1. Oh, a cliffhanger ... looking forward to the next post.

  2. Please tell me it was just a prank. Otherwise, it's really too much to bear to see such a sight. :(

  3. Wah suspense.. now can't wait.. aiyoo you ah... now make me feel guilty for throwing food yesterday...:(

  4. I think it is a 'fake' beggar, I have seen it in Shenzhen and in our local papers have also mentioned such cases.

  5. etceteramommy,
    It is not a prank. It's happening in real life.

  6. LadyJava,
    I have always cherished the food that's offered to me. I try not to waste things. I reheat and eat leftovers.

    There are too many starved children and people in the world. I should be thankful for what I have.

  7. Hi Lam Chun See!
    I'm surprised to see you. hehe....

    There are so many fakes in China. I look stupid falling into all their tricks. haha....

  8. ECL, u just love to keep us in suspense don't ya? Waiting eagerly for the continuation! ;)

  9. ECL,
    I guess we're just too lucky that we don't realise there are other people who suffer...

  10. Kok,
    Yes, we are very lucky. There are quite a number of unfortunate people in this world.

    Count our blessings.

  11. What those 2 young girls doing?? Steal ur money? Cant wait for the next post!!

  12. some day in future, we will be eating recycled food.. as our resources on earth dwindle.

    we are already drinking recycled water made from our own *&!"£

    It is a fact of sustaining life on our earth on our finite resources.

  13. What a suspense!

    I am starting to count my blessings. I have heard of people who have starved themselves so that their children could be given the food instead.

    I am secretly wondering if each of us contributes enough positive vibes to this world, would the world be a better place for everyone, without the war, and the violence?

  14. It's sad, but it happens everywhere. Even here in the richest country in the world people live this way. And they are, very frequently, pretty much invisible.

  15. It is very heart wrenching to watch such disturbing image. For those who have gone on tour not only to cities in China but also towns in Myanmar and Vietnam such scenes of desperation are not uncommon.

  16. I don't know if there place like this woman to get help or not.
    But there people here in America stands and panhandle on street that their goal is to get money to buy alcohol or drugs.
    Although not all of them are this way.
    Some are down on there luck and nothing of there fault.

    But it sad to me. What every the situation is these people need help.

    Coffee is on.

  17. I think the two young ladies after witnessing the good deed of ECL wanted a share of her generosity.

  18. Hey ECL!
    Welcome back!
    It was indeed very disturbing for me to witness old ladies/men sticking their heads into garbage bins scavenging for some empty bottles or other treasures when I first came to croatia. It really saddened me..
    But it is such a common sight that now I put bottles outside for them to pick up whenever possible.
    Old breads are all nicely packed in bags and hung outside of bins here too.
    Do not take your good life for granted..

  19. so sad... :-(

    i suppose if we were in her shoes, we'd probably do the same... eat to live...

    *missed u*

  20. Oh no ECL...not a cliff hanger!! Grrrr...I'm going to start doing this too!!

    And it was very kind of you to give the woman the money. Walter and I give out food and money to the truly homeless when we are in the truck.

    And to answer your question if I would eat out of a dumpster....you bet cha' if I was starving!!

    Hugs even if you did leave us hanging...LOL:-)

  21. Reminds me of Seattle, eastcoast. Many people are eating from garbage cans, some due to mental illness.

    As for your story, I want to hear more, you little dickens :)

  22. Not finishing the story and making me wait - that;s not being very nice!

  23. Hm...Is the baby that she is carrying fake too?

  24. I've learned, these people are everywhere on China Streets.
    Once I just gave a little money to 1 beggar, within seconds....a whole lot of them were crowding me! It was pretty freaking. I was later told by the local people in China, "You're asking for death?!?! The entire clan will pop up in front of you pestering the daylights out of you!!"

  25. How very sweet of you to help her. I don't know how much that money is that you mentioned, but know that your heart was in the right spot.

    I'm intrigued by what the two ladies had to say...can't wait to read more. :)

  26. You are kind to give some money to the poor woman.

    Oh, I can't wait for your next post.

  27. Hope its the beggar's trick to draw some pitiness and attention...or else have some of my beggars's chicken instead..ha.ha.

  28. Oh my! This breaks our heart, we are just so lucky. Hope you'll visit my corner too if you get a chance.. Happy WW!

  29. Next post, what next post? The next post next week? The suspense is killing me. I'm really, really hoping that poor woman isn't as badly off as it seems. But I do know that far too many are.

  30. Major suspense, major cliffhanger. Lol. Can't wait what you discovered about the woman.

  31. Nothing surprises me anymore, since policemen asked me for a tip to help my handicapped friend to cross the street and the same when they "protected" me while I took money. I have seen a beggar with only one leg folding his newspaper where he had sat on and walked away on ... two legs ! A woman who apparently was so deformed that she could only crawl on the ground with a big hunchback, gathering her money and walking away just like you and me ! It is so sad for those who are really in need. (these things I saw now in Egypt)

  32. While in Washington many years ago, I saw a street vagant pick out a pack of unfinished salad which was just thrown into a bin by a lady dressed in power dressing. I was left rather speechless then.

  33. Every time I ran across a scene like that i Jakarta I thanked God, because if not for an accident of birth, being born to middle class parents in the states, that could be me, or any of us.

  34. aiyo, the suspense!
    I do feel guilty for not finishing my food if we go out to eat. :(
    At least at home we can reheat our food, kan?