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  #41  
Old 05.12.2009, 12:14
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Re: Beggars on the streets

I parked in Vevey Market Square and was approached by a poorly dressed girl, carrying a baby, and asking for money for food for her baby. As soon as she realised I was English she started to speak in good English.

I refused any help and went into a restaurant which is also a small hotel. While having my coffee I saw her collect a key at the reception and go up to the rooms. A while later she came down, smartly dressed and accompanied by a man, also smartly dressed. They checked out and then went to a French registered Mercedes and left.

Geneva also has a big problem with beggars. It seems they’re mostly Romanian and come across the border from France.
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  #42  
Old 05.12.2009, 12:16
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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I parked in Vevey Market Square and was approached by a poorly dressed girl, carrying a baby, and asking for money for food for her baby. As soon as she realised I was English she started to speak in good English.

I refused any help and went into a restaurant which is also a small hotel. While having my coffee I saw her collect a key at the reception and go up to the rooms. A while later she came down, smartly dressed and accompanied by a man, also smartly dressed. They checked out and then went to a French registered Mercedes and left.

Geneva also has a big problem with beggars. It seems they’re mostly Romanian and come across the border from France.
I think that deserves a big ...
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  #43  
Old 05.12.2009, 12:21
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Re: Beggars on the streets

I usually give money if they have a dog with them <---- sucker
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  #44  
Old 05.12.2009, 12:33
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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Out of curiousity, I hold conversation before I hand out cash. I find a disproportionate number of the panhandlers are from Germany. One guy told me the German government... some social workers... give them money to come out here to Switzerland....

I don't know if this guy was insane or what, but that would be outrageous if it is true. Those dastardly deutsche!
The social workers give them money to go to other Bundesländer or neighbouring countries like the Netherlands, Denmark or Switzerland to try to find a job, but not to become beggars.

On arrival in these neighbour countries, they very often are not successful. And this very often is a problem with the systems. Take "commercial education". In Switzerland, and I presume also in the Netherlands and Denmark, a good commercial education includes at least two other languages. In Germany, even the "Volkswirt-Diplom" does not include ANY language. A German we had in our company and who did the Volkswirt, when I asked why it did not include other languages, he told me "but that is not 'commercial' but linguistics". So that I had to explain to him that his diploma was useless in Switzerland, as linguistics in Switzerland are profound knowledge in Latin, Old Greek, Hebrew, Aramaïc, antique Egyptian, and classic Mandarin Chinese, but that modern day English, French and Italian were regarded as Commercial "Modern" languages.

Now, please, this clearly is not the fault of the individuals but of the system. Another problem for many Germans in Switzerland (similarity to NL + DK is existing) is that Swiss in private either tend simply to speak dialect with everybody, or if non-German speakers are around switch to English or French, and here again, most Germans are "lacking ...."
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  #45  
Old 05.12.2009, 12:49
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Re: Beggars on the streets

I've come across quite a few beggars in Basel as well...they are often better dressed than me!

There is one guy I always give money to though, he's not a beggar exactly, but hangs around down freistrasser (sp?) playing keepy-uppy with his two crutches...He is awesome at it!
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  #46  
Old 05.12.2009, 12:55
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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I parked in Vevey Market Square and was approached by a poorly dressed girl, carrying a baby, and asking for money for food for her baby. As soon as she realised I was English she started to speak in good English.

I refused any help and went into a restaurant which is also a small hotel. While having my coffee I saw her collect a key at the reception and go up to the rooms. A while later she came down, smartly dressed and accompanied by a man, also smartly dressed. They checked out and then went to a French registered Mercedes and left.

Geneva also has a big problem with beggars. It seems they’re mostly Romanian and come across the border from France.
Yes, many Romanian Gypsies are "professional beggars". Simply imagine them getting CHF 200 per day, it will be a monthly income of more than 5000 CHF ! If the husband is "musician" he may easily get more than 6000 CHF per month which means that the couple may get some 11'000 CHF per month, and that tax-free.

I German language I would describe them as "Edel-Bettler" !
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  #47  
Old 05.12.2009, 13:10
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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Yes, many Romanian Gypsies are "professional beggars". Simply imagine them getting CHF 200 per day, it will be a monthly income of more than 5000 CHF ! If the husband is "musician" he may easily get more than 6000 CHF per month which means that the couple may get some 11'000 CHF per month, and that tax-free.

I German language I would describe them as "Edel-Bettler" !
Almost sounds as if they were employed by Peachum.
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Old 05.12.2009, 13:24
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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Having a decent command of some languages is no guarantee about trouble. Neither is education.
Agree, I used to know a woman who was sleeping rough and nearly always drinking a bottle of wine. She was a regular person I would see about town. She studied at Oxford and Cambridge and her last job was as a head teacher. Turns out she was in a car crash and her daughters were killed, she could not live with the guilt and could not cope with "normal" life after that.
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  #49  
Old 05.12.2009, 13:44
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Re: Beggars on the streets

There is a regular beggar in the station underpass at the main station in Lausanne. He sometimes plays a recorder [very badly] but most often just begs. He has crutches but whether or not he really needs these, is open to question. When I passed by on Wednesday, he was on his mobile 'phone!!! Probably goes home in a Mercedes too.
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Old 05.12.2009, 14:03
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Re: Beggars on the streets

I wonder why people in a country like Switzerland with all the social security have to beg in the streets and I never give anything.

But last September when I was in Milano I saw a very old woman standing on the steps of a stairway in the subway, holding out her hand and crying ceaselessly, at the same time uttering some or other baltic/romanian/whatever words along with the sobbing and crying. It almost tore my heart! I felt so terrible and had to tell myself that organized beggars from Eastern Europe count on these poor creatures making money and they take it away from them at the end of the day anyway.
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  #51  
Old 05.12.2009, 14:16
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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  #52  
Old 05.12.2009, 14:22
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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Now, please, this clearly is not the fault of the individuals but of the system. Another problem for many Germans in Switzerland (similarity to NL + DK is existing) is that Swiss in private either tend simply to speak dialect with everybody, or if non-German speakers are around switch to English or French, and here again, most Germans are "lacking ...."
Well, of course not. The people I was talking to were simply doing what they can to survive. But for representatives of the German social system to encourage them to go to neighboring countries, then resulting to them begging there, is not owning up to their responsibility for their own people.
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  #53  
Old 05.12.2009, 14:42
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Re: Beggars on the streets

I was on the tram the other day when a bloke turned round to me and started speaking in Swiss. I said I didn't speak any German and he promptly switched to flawless English with a slight Northern twang. Turns out he was half Swiss, half Liverpudlian, and had been here 20 years. He was the worst type of beggar... cocky, cheeky, and doing his best to come accross so strong and familiar that most people (especially the "Oh my god someone I dont know is talking to me, help" Swiss) would be intimidated or feel obliged to give him cash. When I told him after humouring him with a little chat that I wasn't going to ive him any cash for a hostel he then turned and started the spiel on a poor English lass who happened to be sitting accross from me. She was like a rabbit in headlights, and got off at the next stop. He stayed on for an extra stop then got off the tram and literally sprinted back down the road, likely finding fresh prey to stalk.

I have zero sympathy for people like that, and as you can never tell if anyone is taking the **** and lying through their teeth about their situation (not to mention purposeful disfigurement of children etc), I NEVER give money to beggars unless something special tugs on my heartstrings, but that would have to be an exceptional circumstance.

The only people I will give any money to on the street are buskers, because it's honest and I genuinely appreciate what they do.

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Old 05.12.2009, 14:47
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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The only people I will give any money to on the street are buskers, because it's honest and I genuinely appreciate what they do.
There used to be some excellent buskers on the trams in Zurich who played really folky cheery type music and I always gave them a couple of francs for their trouble.

Unfortunately you also get the tossers that wail along mournfully to a few ill-chosen chords on a badly tuned guitar then come round with a pot expecting you to part with your cash.

Wish the good folky cheery types would come back again.
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Old 05.12.2009, 14:52
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Re: Beggars on the streets

When I was in Havana there were hundreds of beggars even though begging is officially non-existent in Cuba. Most of them did not ask for money but for shampoo, soap, toothpaste, or pens. I would think these people are actually in need of basic necessities and if I go there again I will bring School material and small soaps and the little things you can steal in western hotels
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Old 05.12.2009, 14:56
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This thread is disgusting

This thread is disgusting. Most of the contributors show that they don't have a minimum of respect towards the needy who definitely exist in this so called "rich" country. Why make fun of those people? Why invent so many excuses what to tell them? Why...?! I tell you why you are doing it: Because you are afraid to be one day in the same situation. I tell you, it doesn't really take a lot to arrive there. Just consider what happens if your partner will take something to court - it's a matter of three days to lock you out of your own house in this case. You then would be on the street with your hand tailored dress and your expensive Swiss watch, too. What if I then came along and would make fun of you..?

Remember: More than 10 pc of the Swiss population live below the powerty line. I know what I'm talking about, I'm a social worker, I have seen both sides of the medal. Please think about, don't simply thumb me down. It's soon X-mas, I call on you to invite one of those miserable people to your homes, the place where charity begins.
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  #57  
Old 05.12.2009, 15:04
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Re: This thread is disgusting

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This thread is disgusting. Most of the contributors show that they don't have a minimum of respect towards the needy who definitely exist in this so called "rich" country. Why make fun of those people? Why invent so many excuses what to tell them? Why...?! I tell you why you are doing it: Because you are afraid to be one day in the same situation. I tell you, it doesn't really take a lot to arrive there. Just consider what happens if your partner will take something to court - it's a matter of three days to lock you out of your own house in this case. You then would be on the street with your hand tailored dress and your expensive Swiss watch, too. What if I then came along and would make fun of you..?

Remember: More than 10 pc of the Swiss population live below the powerty line. I know what I'm talking about, I'm a social worker, I have seen both sides of the medal. Please think about, don't simply thumb me down. It's soon X-mas, I call on you to invite one of those miserable people to your homes, the place where charity begins.
Oh come on get down from the high horse a little... fair enough you're a social worker and see the worst (and genuine) situations society has to offer, but that does not mean we are obliged to give other people money just because they walk up and ask for it, or even as you suggest (somewhat ridiculously in my opinion), invite complete strangers into our home at christmas time. Many beggars are deceitful and there is often zero chance of ascertaining whether they are telling the truth, or bending you over the proverbial desk for a good rogering. Some of the stories in this thread illustrate that perfectly.
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Old 05.12.2009, 15:08
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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When I was in Havana there were hundreds of beggars even though begging is officially non-existent in Cuba. Most of them did not ask for money but for shampoo, soap, toothpaste, or pens. I would think these people are actually in need of basic necessities and if I go there again I will bring School material and small soaps and the little things you can steal in western hotels
That is sad, my cousin just spent some days there and was shocked that cubans can not even call for a taxi! But that is another thread on its own.
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Old 05.12.2009, 15:08
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Re: This thread is disgusting

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Just consider what happens if your partner will take something to court - it's a matter of three days to lock you out of your own house in this case. You then would be on the street with your hand tailored dress and your expensive Swiss watch, too. What if I then came along and would make fun of you.
Couldn't they use their credit card to check in at a hotel for three nights?
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Old 05.12.2009, 15:13
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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I've come across quite a few beggars in Basel as well...they are often better dressed than me!

There is one guy I always give money to though, he's not a beggar exactly, but hangs around down freistrasser (sp?) playing keepy-uppy with his two crutches...He is awesome at it!
Freiestrasse. I've seen him too.

Anyway - that's street entertainment. Not begging.
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