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Old 26.10.2011, 11:31
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

I know! I have been "illegal" many a time, and so early in the day too ...
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  #102  
Old 26.10.2011, 11:42
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

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Question for the smokers: What do you think of being bummed up for cigarettes ?
I've mentioned before in this forum, I'm allergic to cigarettes.

Nevertheless, I've been accosted between the Viadukt and Hardbrücke trainstation already a couple of times by cigarette beggars. When I simply reply "Sorry I don't smoke!" I sometimes get a very aggressive "Oh c'mon! Don't be such a drag! Just give us a cigarette!".

Since I decided 2 decades ago I won't be bullied by teenagers, a same tone "Wash your ears pal, I said I don't smoke, so bug off!" usually does the trick. But sometimes it gets kinda scary
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  #103  
Old 26.10.2011, 12:29
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

@all: please watch this movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0314067/



Ovidiu, a high-school teacher looking for an extra buck, finds an unexpected way to earn easy money.

jrspet: thanks for the edit. However, the tagline is somewhat incomplete: "...to earn easy money, working with the begging mafia"
  #104  
Old 26.10.2011, 12:33
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Re: Let's rant: Romanians in the streets

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if I had no other means to feed my children or my family I would beg (more or less aggressively, according to the success rate), steal, prostitute myself and indulge in any sort of fraudulent activity which could keep them alive and wouldn't involve physical violence.
You could do that. Or you could find a job. But these gypsies simply prefer to beg than to clean somebody else's toilet, also because it's probably more profitable economically speaking. Yes they won't get pensions, but surely the state will take care of them anyway in the future.


Regarding the title change of the thread. I repeat I'm not against all types of begging, some do honestly need it. I'm against the aggresive-begging of some particular collectives of people.
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  #105  
Old 26.10.2011, 12:34
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

Living in Bern, I am regularly aproached by beggars around the train station. It's always the same faces that appear - the same faces I see smoking, drinking beer, high on drugs etc etc. Needless to say they get none of my hard earned cash. What is a pity, is that many of these people are not stupid and speak multiple languages. Regardless of how they got in to that situation, I am not going to fund someone elses addictions.

I do however give money to those I think are genuine, not asking for much. I would much rather give them something to eat and drink.

The worst for me is child begging. I too watched the BBC Panorama documentary on child beggars in Britain. These people were traced back to massive houses in Romania with flash cars, all as a result of ripping off the British public (and possibly many other countries too). It breaks my heart to see women use their babies in such a manner.

I was surprised (and happy) to hear that begging is illegal in Bern. Fingers crossed thi makes a difference...
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  #106  
Old 26.10.2011, 12:51
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

I remember for a while in London on the Tube there were frequently gangs of people who would walk between carriges asking for money. Often or not holding babies and sending smaller children on ahead. One woman I will clearly remember had a mouth full of gold teeth.

Moving to Germany didn't change things much. Only there it would be roving bands (literally) of men playing instruments (often poorly) who would go from bar to bar and especially during the festivals all around the areas playing the same tune over and over again. Then they would stop and demand money from anybody standing nearby. Often or not they would get quite aggressive when you refused.

Thankfully in Zürich and Luzern (my 2 hangouts) I've not really seen much of that at all. There are often a fair few punks near the trainstation holding a cup asking everybody for money, however the people I see are fairly non-threatening compared to what I saw in London and Frankfurt.

I think the most annoying form of begging for me are the people holding a clipboard who run after you speaking about this that charity and demand that you give them your bank details and set up a monthy payment for a few hundred chuffs.

Begging in all forms is a sad enditement of any society. The fact that people have fallen out of the system and either can't get back in, or simply don't want to.

The saddest thing of all, are the children that follow their parents around holding their hands out demanding money. Be it that they have to do that to survive (and lets face it, the government would look after these kids if things were really that bad), they are part of these "criminal gangs", or has a "thats just how our culture is" mentality, they will grow up believing that this is totally normal and perpetuate the cycle with their own kids.
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  #107  
Old 26.10.2011, 13:06
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

Ahh, the "I have to see poor people for 1 minute and 23 seconds a day, can we kill them?" Problem.
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  #108  
Old 26.10.2011, 13:08
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

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The worst for me is child begging. I too watched the BBC Panorama documentary on child beggars in Britain. These people were traced back to massive houses in Romania with flash cars, all as a result of ripping off the British public (and possibly many other countries too). It breaks my heart to see women use their babies in such a manner.

I was surprised (and happy) to hear that begging is illegal in Bern. Fingers crossed thi makes a difference...

Is this the documentary. Any tips on where I can see this?
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Old 26.10.2011, 13:10
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

Either way you look at it - begging of Rroma as a result of poverty, lack of opportunities, lack of an adequate education, all mixed up with some possible cultural issues or simply as a fraud, criminal activity-, at least all the Romanians I personally know are tired and sick of this problem, of the confusion, of the widespread misinformation, prejudices and unfairness.
I thanked the nice Mod jrspet for changing the title, it gives a little comfort.
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  #110  
Old 26.10.2011, 13:16
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

How to reconcile the "they make hundreds of CHF a day each!" with "I never give them anything"? And I don't care that some Roma in Romaina have nice villas. Why not? Other people do too.

Someone must be giving them the money. It's a job. If I had nothing, I'd also beg rather than clean toilets. (a) it looks easier and (b) it pays more. Of course, I'd need to relocate to Lausanne as this type of thing doesn't happen in Basel :-)

They beg because it's profitable. It's profitable because enough people have enough disposable cash to give them. The only problem I can see with begging is that it makes train stations and town centres look unsafe. However, most Swiss cities don't exactly look great anyway, and a bit of multiculturalism (even if it's Gypsies in fake Muslim attire) adds colour.

So I have no issues with beggars. I only have an issue with those who force others into begging. Child beggars and the like. However, that's a form of slavery so isn't unique to begging per se.
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  #111  
Old 26.10.2011, 13:21
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

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Is this the documentary. Any tips on where I can see this?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/fr...00/9618038.stm

Maybe they have the full version on BBC iPlayer.
  #112  
Old 26.10.2011, 13:53
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

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Living in Bern, I am regularly aproached by beggars around the train station. It's always the same faces that appear - the same faces I see smoking, drinking beer, high on drugs etc etc. Needless to say they get none of my hard earned cash. What is a pity, is that many of these people are not stupid and speak multiple languages. Regardless of how they got in to that situation, I am not going to fund someone elses addictions.

I do however give money to those I think are genuine, not asking for much. I would much rather give them something to eat and drink.
Being stuck out in the cold and having no place to go - heck, i'd want alcohol too!! ..and i'm sure I would develop substance abuse being in that situation.

There is certainly lack of sympathy towards homeless people. People mostly think that a person's choices in life lead them to that situation but i'd bet there is not a single person who chooses to be homeless. Than God for the Salvos for finding us a place to live after a women's refuge with my mum when I was little. Affordable accommodation isn't always easy to find.
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  #113  
Old 26.10.2011, 14:26
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

I like to buy lunches/dinners/snacks to people who tell me they are hungry - throughout the years and in several parts of the world, I've shared a meal or an occasional coffee+croissant with frail old ladies, grumpy beggars, street musicians, all sorts of random folks. I love to hear stories, I draw inspirations from them to write and for my other creative pursuits, so to me this is like a "service exchange": the beggar tells me his/her story, I share a meal with him/her. Not always it's gone smoothly, I have also been laughed at and verbally attacked because I have refused to give money and proposed the meal thing instead, but I don't get discouraged and I don't buy the arrogance either - if one is truly hungry, they will appreciate the food/hot drink. If they want my money to buy booze, it's a different story.

When asked for spare change for the tram, the train, etc. I am one of those "suckers" that always gives away a small coin, not much and I know perfectly well I shouldn't do it, but I always think it could be me. Same with cigarettes: I hate to bum cigarettes, but I have been in the situation where I was desperately craving one (the power of addiction!) and could not buy a pack, and I appreciated the handout.

Having said that, I personally would rather clean toilets than beg: it is a perfectly legitimate and legal job, I wouldn't feel like I am stealing from society, and I would conserve my dignity as an honest working human being.
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  #114  
Old 26.10.2011, 14:39
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

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I like to buy lunches/dinners/snacks to people who tell me they are hungry
While I was living in Germany, I was actually shocked when a beggar rudely refused my offer of fresh fruit, even though he was begging for money to buy food.

I got pretty offended, angry with him and beggars in general, and angry with myself for getting "hurt" while trying to help a stranger.

Then someone actually cleared it up for me: apparently, it's more often than not that people give poisoned or spoiled food to beggars.

After learning that, when I was in Portugal, I offered a Russian beggar a lunch in the nearby restaurant (long story short, in the 2000s we got a gigantic wave of Russian and Ukranian people looking for jobs and ended up explored by their own mafia in my hometown). He took my offer and I was happy to see him smile. I'm sorry to say I can't afford to do the same in Zürich, considering the prices...
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  #115  
Old 26.10.2011, 14:53
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

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Then someone actually cleared it up for me: apparently, it's more often than not that people give poisoned or spoiled food to beggars.
Another thing that I have learned from my mom - but I have never had the chance to do it myself yet - is to pay for someone's groceries at the store.

Ever since my mom retired, she's gone from powerful, kick-a$$ businesswoman to the "ultimate hausfrau" (traditional housewife)*, so she does the grocery shopping now, and if I am visiting my parents I usually tag along on a Saturday. I have seen her pay for the small sandwitches and cartons of milk of people she had seen earlier begging at the corner, without a lot of fuss, just saying a quick whispered word in the ear of a cashier on her way in or out the checkout line.

Of course, Helm, your comments about the feasibility of this and similar scenarios in Switzerland with the crazy prices is debatable, hehehe

*It's actually pretty funny and very cute to see her getting excited about learning homemaking skills and marvel at being able to cook a simple recipe. Go mom!

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  #116  
Old 26.10.2011, 15:08
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

About 15years ago one of the lovely punks was begging in Shopville Zürich. A banker passed by.

Punk: "Häsch mer föif stei?"
Banker: "Nei, ich han kei Geld"
Punk: "Muesch halt go schaffe, fuule Sack!"

P: "Can you give me 5 francs?"
B: "I don't have money."
P: "Then you should go working you lazy bugger"

And sometimes I bring the punks outside of the Main Station a twelve pack of beer as I know some of them.
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  #117  
Old 26.10.2011, 15:12
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

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About 15years ago one of the lovely punks was begging in Shopville Zürich. A banker passed by.

Punk: "Häsch mer föif stei?"
Banker: "Nei, ich han kei Geld"
Punk: "Muesch halt go schaffe, fuule Sack!"

P: "Can you give me 5 francs?"
B: "I don't have money."
P: "Then you should go working you lazy bugger"

And sometimes I bring the punks outside of the Main Station a twelve pack of beer as I know some of them.
I would have gladly paid them to learn Swiss German off them.
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Old 26.10.2011, 15:26
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

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Lately I just tell them in a very rude manner to "allez-vous-en dans votre pays
If you don't like it here why don't you just leave? Rings a bell somewhere.
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  #119  
Old 26.10.2011, 15:29
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Re: A rant about beggars ( Lausanne and probably elsewhere in CH )

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Being stuck out in the cold and having no place to go - heck, i'd want alcohol too!! ..and i'm sure I would develop substance abuse being in that situation.

There is certainly lack of sympathy towards homeless people. People mostly think that a person's choices in life lead them to that situation but i'd bet there is not a single person who chooses to be homeless. Than God for the Salvos for finding us a place to live after a women's refuge with my mum when I was little. Affordable accommodation isn't always easy to find.
Like I said, I give to those who (I think) are genuine.

I too have been through tough times, had zero money and lived off virtually nothing. I now donate to charities and the salvos regularly (money, clothes, furniture). At least then I know my donation is being used for a real needs, and not to pay for someone's next hit.

Just my personal experience...
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Old 26.10.2011, 16:14
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Re: Let's rant: Romanians in the streets

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It will happen in Zurich relatively rarely, but elsewhere it may differ.
That's once thing I appreciated on arriving in Zurich - the complete (or almost complete) absence of beggars.

After Paris (very bad) and London (even worse), that along with street cleanliness and decent public transport was most refreshing.
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