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  #81  
Old 06.12.2009, 15:10
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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I have only been approached I think once in Basel by a beggar. Which I have found amazingly low for a city.
I think then maybe I DO live in the wrong part of town . It is not particularly scary as I have experienced in other countries (people more inf your face and aggresive). But I remember this time I got of the tram, and saw this guy who looked (and smelled) a bit intoxicated coming out the the bar at the Johaniterbrucke stop, and he yelled for me to stop (scared the hell out of me) then asked me if I had money... no way I was going to give him any to go on drinking...on a late summer day...at 4:30 pm *sigh*
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  #82  
Old 06.12.2009, 15:22
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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I think then maybe I DO live in the wrong part of town . It is not particularly scary as I have experienced in other countries (people more inf your face and aggresive). But I remember this time I got of the tram, and saw this guy who looked (and smelled) a bit intoxicated coming out the the bar at the Johaniterbrucke stop, and he yelled for me to stop (scared the hell out of me) then asked me if I had money... no way I was going to give him any to go on drinking...on a late summer day...at 4:30 pm *sigh*
Now, you have to see that even if some of these beggars are playing foul, most of them really are in trouble. It simply is too many of them to help them all. I sometimes hand out a 5CHF piece. If they use it for a beer or a glass of wine, alright ... if they get drunk, regrettable, if they use it to purchase drugs, bad but it may have helped to keep the person off crime. One thing I never do is to feel above them, except feeling lucky to be on the other side of society (so help me God) . And I do not feel like condemning them for their plight.
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  #83  
Old 06.12.2009, 15:50
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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Now, you have to see that even if some of these beggars are playing foul, most of them really are in trouble. It simply is too many of them to help them all. I sometimes hand out a 5CHF piece. If they use it for a beer or a glass of wine, alright ... if they get drunk, regrettable, if they use it to purchase drugs, bad but it may have helped to keep the person off crime. One thing I never do is to feel above them, except feeling lucky to be on the other side of society (so help me God) . And I do not feel like condemning them for their plight.
I do feel lucky to have a house where to go and have a good job, I come from a poor country, dont get me wrong. My parents are not rich and are struggling with this economy and my father's ridiculously irresponsible behavior. Now,the guy gave me the impression of ' gee I ran out of money to drink so now I need t beg' ... well don't drikn that much.

What I do is collaborate with the Salvation Army monthly and also give away useful stuff that we do not need. I do give money to old people though, especially women, they jsut break my heart. Here though everyone that has asked for money is mid 20s and looking healthy.
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  #84  
Old 06.12.2009, 15:51
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Re: Beggars on the streets

Although neither do I feel obliged to give a buck to a begging person nor do I diminish such individual, but I always would make sure it is not going for a booze or alike. I learnt once in the past from such mistake when I used to help an X guy who notouriously was getting drunk yet claiming he needed money for food. Other colleague of mine who knew this person better opened up my eyes and suggested that it only could have ruined the man further. It is always personal dilllema whether to give or not because we are not sure where it is actually going to. But nonetheless I would make sure I kindly walked the person to the food shop and bought for him what he asked for.
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Old 06.12.2009, 16:21
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Re: Beggars on the streets

My big concern with street begging is the difficulty in being able to distinguish between those in genuine need and those who are trying it on.

I have heard the convincing stories of missed the train/lost wallet etc. only to see the same people a few days later trying the same story.

I must admit that I sometimes feel guilty when I pass by someone who could be in genuine need.

I will happily donate to the recognised support organisations, hostels, Big Issue (in UK) etc. who are far better qualified than me to ensure that the help goes to those in genuine need.
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Old 06.12.2009, 16:23
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Re: Beggars on the streets

I give, I don't think about it. It has happened that I've given without being asked. It doesn't matter, if I have I figure I can share and anyhow you just can't take it with you. Sometimes you can see it's a down right lie, it doesn't matter either, give and forget.
Maybe if it makes somebody's day a bit different, then why not ?
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Old 06.12.2009, 16:34
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Re: Beggars on the streets

I was approached in the St. Francois City Coop my first week in Lausanne by an older gentlemen with a baby - he asked me for money for food - "for the baby". He had the baby and several grocery items in his hands. I would have probably given him a few CHF if I had not seen the same baby in a young woman's arms in the Ripponne pedestrian area the day before - she was sitting on the ground holding the same baby and begging. I told him "NO WAY". There seems to be an extended family of sorts that is quite persisent in Lausanne. When we lived in the US we used to joke with our kids that if they were naughty we'd sell them to the gypsies... now that we walk past these real-life "gypsies" every day my kids are scared.
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Old 06.12.2009, 16:34
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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I do feel lucky to have a house where to go and have a good job, I come from a poor country, dont get me wrong. My parents are not rich and are struggling with this economy and my father's ridiculously irresponsible behavior. Now,the guy gave me the impression of ' gee I ran out of money to drink so now I need t beg' ... well don't drikn that much.

What I do is collaborate with the Salvation Army monthly and also give away useful stuff that we do not need. I do give money to old people though, especially women, they jsut break my heart. Here though everyone that has asked for money is mid 20s and looking healthy.
To be young and healthy is no guarantee against getting into most serious trouble.

My favourite secondary school teacher (it was reported after his death in "Zürich 2") after his retirement spent many hours to talk with both such beggars and drug addicts. He paid the consumptions, but seldom gave them much money. He succeeded even to bring some addicts away from the drugs, he succeeded in bring beggars back into working society. He was a strict liberal in the best sense, but a person with natural authority. I never forget his advice "Stay polite and diplomatic and open and understanding, but always clearly state your mind and your position ... you will always be respected". Yes, I at times visit his grave !
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Old 06.12.2009, 16:39
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To be young and healthy is no guarantee against getting into most serious trouble.

My favourite secondary school teacher (it was reported after his death in "Zürich 2") after his retirement spent many hours to talk with both such beggars and drug addicts. He paid the consumptions, but seldom gave them much money. He succeeded even to bring some addicts away from the drugs, he succeeded in bring beggars back into working society. He was a strict liberal in the best sense, but a person with natural authority. I never forget his advice "Stay polite and diplomatic and open and understanding, but always clearly state your mind and your position ... you will always be respected". Yes, I at times visit his grave !
Sounds like a great guy, some people have a gift and a calling to help others in this way, other people have other gifts.
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Old 06.12.2009, 16:40
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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I was approached in the St. Francois City Coop my first week in Lausanne by an older gentlemen with a baby - he asked me for money for food - "for the baby". He had the baby and several grocery items in his hands. I would have probably given him a few CHF if I had not seen the same baby in a young woman's arms in the Ripponne pedestrian area the day before - she was sitting on the ground holding the same baby and begging. I told him "NO WAY". There seems to be an extended family of sorts that is quite persisent in Lausanne. When we lived in the US we used to joke with our kids that if they were naughty we'd sell them to the gypsies... now that we walk past these real-life "gypsies" every day my kids are scared.
They unfortunately do not care for a second that they damage people being in REAL problem by their undoing ! The phenomena in fact is not new at all.
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Old 06.12.2009, 16:41
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I have heard the convincing stories of missed the train/lost wallet etc. only to see the same people a few days later trying the same story.
Actually this happened to me in Frankfurt, I was about to reach to my pcket when I turned around and another guy was ready to snatch my bag while I was distracted...maybe I am just not lucky...
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Old 06.12.2009, 16:43
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I give, I don't think about it. It has happened that I've given without being asked. It doesn't matter, if I have I figure I can share and anyhow you just can't take it with you. Sometimes you can see it's a down right lie, it doesn't matter either, give and forget.
Maybe if it makes somebody's day a bit different, then why not ?
Sky that is an admirable philosophy, I do give without asking to people closer to me or old people as I mentioned before. I guess I pick my battles.
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Old 06.12.2009, 16:44
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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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.
I wouldn't see the phone as an indicator of dishonesty. In this day and age phones can be a lifeline.

He may have family who cannot help him, but provide a phone so he can let them know he's still alive.

An old phone can be bought cheaply (or donated) maybe 10 CHF of his weekly takings are used for a top-up. Good for him.
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Old 06.12.2009, 16:44
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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They unfortunately do not care for a second that they damage people being in REAL problem by their undoing ! The phenomena in fact is not new at all.
Of course they don't. They have no morals or else they wouldn't do what they do.
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Old 06.12.2009, 16:44
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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I was approached in the St. Francois City Coop my first week in Lausanne by an older gentlemen with a baby - he asked me for money for food - "for the baby". He had the baby and several grocery items in his hands. I would have probably given him a few CHF if I had not seen the same baby in a young woman's arms in the Ripponne pedestrian area the day before - she was sitting on the ground holding the same baby and begging. I told him "NO WAY". There seems to be an extended family of sorts that is quite persisent in Lausanne. When we lived in the US we used to joke with our kids that if they were naughty we'd sell them to the gypsies... now that we walk past these real-life "gypsies" every day my kids are scared.
In Peru there are mafias that rent babies for beggars...unbelievable.
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Old 06.12.2009, 17:10
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Re: Beggars on the streets

Admirable or selfish ? not sure.
When we give, we also feel better, we also do it for ourselves not just for the other person.
It's an exchange, somebody needs something and in return you feel for a fleet second you might have contributed to a little smile somewhere.
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Old 06.12.2009, 17:13
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Admirable or selfish ? not sure.
When we give, we also feel better, we also do it for ourselves not just for the other person.
It's an exchange, somebody needs something and in return you feel for a fleet second you might have contributed to a little smile somewhere.
Sweetie, npbody does anything completely unselfishly, even if it is feeling good that you get back, you are thinking too much HUG!
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Old 06.12.2009, 17:30
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Re: Beggars on the streets

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Sweetie, npbody does anything completely unselfishly, even if it is feeling good that you get back, you are thinking too much HUG!
This exactly reminds me about the containers outside Gemeinde house where you despose of used clothes in so called Kleidersammlung. Most of the times, I should say 9 out of 10, I am happy to donate the clothes but there is always hidden satisfaction coming from emptying your cupboard and classical selfflattering that one has done good - as stated above.
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  #99  
Old 07.12.2009, 00:17
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Re: Beggars on the streets

yeah Kant said there is no such thing as an altruistic act - if you don't gain something from an action, you don't do it.
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Old 07.12.2009, 13:07
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Re: Beggars on the streets

When I was studying in Bern, I was approached by a young, well-dresed English-Asian guy who explained he'd had a fight with his brother, had been locked out and neede the fare back to Zürich. I said I was really sorry, but didn't have any cash on me and moved along.

Next week, I saw the same guy using exactly the same story on someone else.

Shurely shome mishtake?
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