Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I see them (often) not knowing what they really think about people like me...


Are you bothered when you eat in a fastfood chain and looking outside the glass window, you'll see a bunch of street kids looking back at you?

I AM. This is perhaps the most disturbing and haunting experience everytime I eat at Jollibee or McDonalds.

The other day, after hours of rummaging around Palanca St. and Hidalgo St. (canvassing for a new equipment), I decided to take my lunch at Jollibee (there's not much of a choice unless you want to eat at Mini Stop). I always opt to sit near the window glass to see the view. As I was starting to take a hungry bite, I saw a bunch of kids near my glass window. They weren't asking for food or anything, they were just looking. It's like a muted scene from a movie. Inside my world was the noisy sound of the fastfood chain, crew shouting customers' orders, kids laughing with their parents, parents feeding their puffed up kids. And at the other side of this glass window, are these skinny, dirty kids, looking back at us. A muted scene that could never get to me.

Suddenly, the hungry bite turned into this lump of food trapped inside my esophagus...I can't make it down. I've been in this situation before but it never gets easier the second time or the third time around. I wonder what they think of people like me.



pieterbie said...

Although you cannot compare the Brussels and Oostende situation to Manila: I know what you mean. I guess I would likely avoid eating there. You get a lot of child beggars here in Brussels, but it is organised, so I have little trouble ignoring them. Even though I do realise, organised or not, that it is not a correct way to be living your life as a child, even as an adult. Why does our government turn its head. What is the solution? I'll be damned if I know.

Thanks for you comment about my Asian woman phoning. I'll tell you how I took this candid. I was in Paris on the top deck of an open top bus. The bus halted for a traffic light, and I saw this sweetheart phoning on the sidewalk. So I couldn't resist taking this bird's eye view photo of this cute young woman.

Next time I see Sandrine I will tell here that you like her name.

lies said...

I have to agree with pieterbie. I almost never give money to beggars in Brussels, because they annoy me so much. If they ask nicely (and preferably in Dutch), I might give some homeless guys a few cigarettes, and if someone's playing an instrument on the street (not on the subway!), and I have some loose change, I might just hand that over too (but only if they're not going around with a hat or a cup!). I'm crazy like that.

Dealing with the children in Congo was rough though. The way they vacantly stare at you... it was hard.

Ferdz said...

Huy bumili sya ng bagong gadget :D

Nakaka awa talaga minsan pag ganyan. Kaya ako tumatalikod ako sa salamin pag me mga ganyan para di ko nakikita.

Pero very nice yung picture mo. Very dramatic yung expression nung bata. Can be used as a material sa mga NGO's and other orgs

rayts said...

what do you mean by organized? do they situate in certain locations only? because here, they are everywhere i.e., streets, fastfood chains, churches, market places, etc. so, there's a slight chance that i would be able to avoid them, unless of course, i opted to eat in a fine dine resto where there are security guards specifically paid to ward off beggars (if you know what i mean).

i passed by them everyday on my way to work, from work, riding the bus home, etc. i am afraid that one day, i've grown apathetic to them already, which i pray i would not. perhaps the beggars in Belgium woudn't be called as such here. what do you think? i have always thought that beggars all over the world are the same. Conventionally speaking. but owing to each country's economic stature, i would have to think otherwise.

blaming the government is the easiest. they are the obvious target. but knowing that our government cannot do anything about it, i am also damned to know.

hi lies!
it was nice of you to drop by. of course you agree with Peter, you guys came from the same brood. ;-) just teasing. i also chose the beggars (i hate using this word already) to give money and attention to. but i do like giving to old people simply because they seem to have least of a choice and capability to earn money. most of them are abandoned by families or left behind to fend for themselves. i also like giving to street performers i.e. blind singing while playing the guitar...at least they give something out to people, they just don't ask and take money. but we have lots of beggars in the Philippines that giving each and everyone of them money would wear everyone out.

i also hate people passing around hat or cup for money, it's like they are obliging you to give some. but i don't think we have that much here. we have that in the church though. ;-)

canvass pa lang tsong. alam mo bang hanggang ngayon e di pa ako makabili kaso super nakakaiyak ang presyo.

tumatalikod ka? hehehe. na-imagine ko. kaya lang, mukha talagang guilty eh no. hirap. susubo ka na lang may nakatingin pa. kung pwede ko lang sila lahat pakainin.

salamat sa papuri. may isa pa akong kuha ng batang yan...nakatingin na siya sa akin. mukhang nabadtrip sa akin kase kinatok ko yung window glass tapos parang na-istorbo ko siya sa ginagawa niya na hindi ko naman mawari kung ano ang pinagkaka-abalahan.

lies said...

I know I don't comment nearly often enough, but I read everything, no doubt about it! ;o)

rayts said...

you do? really? really, really do? ahh. i am glad Lies. thanks. i haven't opened my Vox account for the longest time. ;-)

lies said...

I do, I really do. A lot of the time I don't feel like I have anything to add though, so I don't say anything, lest I make a fool of myself by saying something incredibly stupid and totally beside the point...

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