Friday, July 10, 2009

Eating from a Garbage Bin - Photo Hunt

It was lunch time, a woman with a sleeping toddler on her lap was eating from a garbage bin on a busy street in Shenzhen, China.

Officer workers just walked past her. I was shocked when a few office ladies even spat at her.

I gave her whatever money I had on me that day.

Later I learnt that she was a con-artist. She had been doing this for a living in this busy city.

I was scolded for being sympathetic to beggars and called 'stupid' for being so easily conned.*Huh!?*

Why would a human being eat from a garbage bin if she has a choice? Would you eat from a garbage bin just to make a few bucks?

(I gave her US$80+, probably the biggest amount she had ever received.)

For the story, read these two posts.

Would You Eat From A Garbage Bin?
Stupid EastCoastLife







First Commenter - Lina

51 comments:

  1. I remember that post of yours.

    Desperate times = desperate measures.

    But I was sadder reading about your post about the little girl doing acrobatics acts when she clearly didn't want to.

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  2. Oh, ECL, that's very generous of you. Sometimes, I can say, looks can be deceiving. I will check out the other post.

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  3. Lina,
    Congrats! FC!!
    *grins*

    Yeah... the poor girl. We have no news of her. Hopeing she is alright and will be able to leave the syndicate. :(

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  4. I do not think you are stupid at all. You are a kind hearted person, and the world needs more people like you. Unfortunately on occasion people like this woman will take advantage of good people.

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  5. Ebie,
    Coming from a land of plenty and witnessing such a sight, it is hard to ignore the fact that there are people starving while we gorge ourselves silly with food or waste it.

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  6. Sue,
    It doesn't matter if others think I'm stupid. I did help the poor woman and the toddler in some way. I hope she at least got to eat something better for a few days and maybe got less beating from her syndicate.

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  7. Dropping by to catch up on my reading here and to greet yah a restful weekend ahead :) xoxo

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  8. not surprisingly, there are many swindlers in china who cheat by spreading falsehoods of their stories.

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  9. that's so generous of you ECL!

    happy weekend. :)

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  10. Empty Streets,
    Thank you, dear!
    I finally beat you to it. :D

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  11. Life Ramblings,
    I didn't expect her to be a swindler. I was shocked when I saw her eating from the garbage bin.

    I would not eat from a garbage bin even if I have to go hungry.

    Such a scene kept playing in my mind.... I just had to do something.

    The second shock was when I learnt she does this for a living. I want to believe she is forced to do this.

    Will I give her money if I see her again? Yes, probably lesser and maybe help her get a decent job.

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  12. Hi ECL,

    Excellent post (all of them, I read the two part ones). I think you were right to help since you were able to and I love what the person you quoted said about help first, check background later. I think it's outrageous that the office workers would spit at her no matter what they thought of her motives.

    I hope you have a great weekend, Carver

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  13. hey ECL,
    i've displayed your avatar in my recent post. have a good one.

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  14. Ecl-this blog seems familiar. I believe you have blogged this story sometime back.Happy weekend!

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  15. Better to be conned than to be heartless. Bless you.

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  16. Carver,
    Thank you for reading the posts and leaving a comment.

    I pity the poor woman who had to endure all this just to earn her 3 meals. It is hard to survive in a cold, uncaring city.

    She could be better off staying put in her hometown, but I will never know. Who am I to judge her?

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  17. stanley,
    Yes, I have blogged about this lady.

    Happy weekend!

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  18. Liz,
    It's not a huge amount. And I hope it helped her in some way or the other.

    Happy weekend!

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  19. I am a regular reader so I remember this post, ECL... so moving.
    My post is now up, happy ph and happy weekend, my friend!

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  20. Sigh... it wasn't stupid of you to react like that ECL.You were a tourist and you have a heart.That woman probably works for a gang and she risks repercussions if she doesn't bring in a certain amount of money so perhaps you did help her out in a way.Oh well who knows.Sometimes its a very thin line between fact and fiction but don't regret it,learn from it.

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  21. that is indeed very generous. i give money to people on street corners too, but not that much. i remember one time i just got from a drive through and i saw a beggar asking for money. i offered the fastfood bag (burger and fries) and he refused it. he told me he wanted money. i said i have no money, but i have hot food for your hungry stomach. he apparently wasnt' hungry for food. he just wants money.

    i played today too

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  22. Good for you being generous (even if it was a scam).

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  23. I dont think you were stupid at all ECL. Okay you were conned this time but next time? Far better to be kind hearted (as you certainly are) and occasionally duped than to be hard hearted and spit on someone who may genuinely be in dire straits. Have a great weekend

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  24. Well you may have been conned but you did the right thing, rather generously in fact.

    If you had not you would have felt badly about afterwards. I don't think that I could eat garbage, imagine the risk of illness.

    Happy weekend ECL, you are a kind person.

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  25. You have a kind heart, ECL. I would have done the same too if I'm in your shoes. A little kindness never hurt anybody.

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  26. But there are also the real ppl struggling out there who might just be really eating off the bin. Those cons are really an insult to those who are actually in need.

    I guess it isn't easy to tell the fakes from the real...if you like blessing someone, why not?

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  27. You have the compassion. Hopefully such con-artist could one day learn about integrity.

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  28. recycled! My post is something recycled too! HAha.

    Saw a few beggars in Dubin and sadly they are always of ASian or Middle Eastern origin.

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  29. It is sad that she turned out to be a con artist, but I don't think you are stupid for helping her. I can't believe that some people spat on her!

    Nice take on the theme.
    Happy weekend.

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  30. You have a good heart and it really was/is an awful sight but still can't help but think you were conned. Yes, there are way better ways for that woman to make a living and eat. And yet... you don't want to encourage her and others to do what she does.

    Also I have to say: I pity the poor child for having a mother like that and hope it doesn't (have to) follow in her footsteps. :(

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  31. maybe she saw someone throw a pack of roast pork rice into the garbage bin before that and knew there was something for her?

    anyway, u v kind loh.....

    P.S i am in s'pore leh...that post was 1 mth late lah!

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  32. I admire kindhearted and generous people like you. Whether or not she was a con artist, you still had her best interest at heart. I think that's what really counts.

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  33. New York city has that same problem. I may have talked to her and offered to buy them something. But you never know if they are looking for drug money or what.

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  34. You did mention about you getting conned last time. LOL! Anyway, there are many types of people around that would do just anything to feed their tummy.

    http://crizcats.blogspot.com/

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  35. It seems to me that if she had to eat from the garbage, she was in need, so even if it wasn't quite what you first expected, you still had the right reaction.

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  36. Oh no I cannot do what that person did. It makes me feel bad if doing that hehhehe. Good take my friend..happy weekend. TC

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  37. It all depends. I wouldn't of course, but I knew german people (they are all dead now) who ate out of American soldiers garbage under the occupation, simply because they were hungry. This was my parents generation.

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  38. hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com/

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  39. I remember this post.

    When I think it over, I knew German people who have done this (they are all dead now) they ate out of the garbage under the occupation of American soldiers, just because they were hungry. Today this shouldn't happen anymore !

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  40. What a scam...very clever...the sad thing is, there are those that do it for real.

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  41. very sad sight. sometimes con artists do that because they think it is the easy way to get money... oh well this is only my assumption. they could have another reason but i don't we really want to know.

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  42. Very sad indeed! but Ecl has altruistic heart

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  43. Hola ECL! You’ve been awardedhere, come and get it! :)

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  44. I don't think you are foolish, I think you are a good person. I am sometimes fooled by the beggers in oslo as well but I would rather tip someone who is playing a part than ignore someone in need. And you have to ask yourself how desperate they must be to spend their day that way.

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  45. I would not think that she was conning if she was eating out of the can. But, I have seen people on the street corners here who beg and hold up signs.. will work for food.. and people stop and give them money... then at the end of the day they walk a few blocks away, get in their late model cadillac and drive home. Usually they had a cute dog with them on the corner. We did have a con artist like this in our town.

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  46. It is hard to know, sometimes. There are people who con and people who are genuine. Sadly, there are those who assume anyone who is begging is a con.

    I often carry vouchers for McDonalds or KFC with me and if I am in doubt, I hand out the voucher. Other times, I do give money.

    I have a friend who is homeless, someone with schizophrenia. He can't work and his problems aren't made better by "the system". I look for him and give him a little money. I know he spends it on beer. But if it makes him a little happier, who am I to judge him.

    I have helped him buy art supplies but don't any more after he told me that he once sold the gift certificate I gave him to buy Crack. I know he is not doing Crack, now, so I don't mind giving him money to buy beer.

    Another man I have given money to in the past is a street poet. I know he has some sort of mental problems but from the first day I met him outside my doctor's office, I saw something in him that others might not have. Robert finally managed to get himself off the streets and I don't see him any more.

    He had seen a lot of sadness in the recent past, including his wife who had been hit while riding her bicycle eventually dying in hospital two years later.

    He remained cheerful and optimistic and preferred to read or give you a poem than to get money for nothing. He cheered many a day for me. I wish him well.

    Once when I was working in the Market area down town, a young man who had been panhandling was lying passed out on the steps behind our store. He was filthy and had been in a terrible mess in the weeks before that day.

    I walked by him but wondered if he was all right. My friends said he was "fine" I allowed myself to believe it. We went off to get our lunch. When we got back, the ambulance was there. He had died.

    That haunted me (still does, to tell you the truth). Would I have been able to bring myself to touch him and give him CPR, if I had realized? Would he have thanked me or would he have preferred to end his suffering?

    In my heart of hearts, I knew he was either near death or dead and I allowed myself to second guess myself.

    The least I could have done was to give him a little dignity and called for help.

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  47. u're such a kind-hearted person..not stupid ECL! :)

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  48. wow, so generous...i usually give but not that big maybe because of being aware of such con-artist but I tend to help at least. who knows, right?

    i feel terribly bad with those ladies who spat at them...they are the worse kind!

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