Home of Muhamad.net

It’s about Life

Home of Muhamad.net header image 2

The Art of Begging

September 23rd, 2008 · No Comments

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Do not hustle sign

I was in NYC the week before Christmas, 2007 for training.  One of the most interesting aspects of the big cities are the types of beggars.  The commons ones are as follows:

  • The drunk: trying to fill his last empty cup with some change to score another drink
  • The musician: who is sometimes quite good, and other times quite terrible.
  • The guy with the story board: always a good read
  • The artist: does something to attract attention (act as a statue, robot, etc).

There were two guys in NYC that stood out.  One had a sign that said “I am the famous Italian singer (insert name I don’t remember)”.  The sign had more than that, but that was the key point.  He felt his best way to ask for handouts was to inform everyone of his identity (if that’s who he really was).  Unfortunately, I was in a big crowd and did not have time to snap a picture.  The second guy was not begging, but he was a bell ringer for The Salvation Army.  Most bell ringers just smile and ring their bell.  This guy (Hispanic guy, marginal accent) kept repeating in line with “give those something who have nothing, give something to people who need it” (among other things).  Which was a pretty good and strong pitch.

I found a “residence” of sorts later on that same night.  I don’t have the picture on me at this time, but I will update this post when I find it.

This past weekend (Sept 20-21, 2008), I was in Antwerp and Brugge, Belgium.  Like any other large city, you had your various panhandlers looking for a handout.  The “artists” are the ones that usually get my attention, with the musicians in second if they are doing something unique.

The guy on the left was playing some type of percussion instrument (Brugge).  From a distance, I was under the impression someone was playing a harp.  When I found the source, it was a guy with a UFO shaped metal… thing… that had depressions in the metal around the outside.  He tapped the depressions to play the instrument, but to my naive ears, it sounded like a harp.  In any case, it was something new to me so I tossed a couple a couple Euro coins in.

The artist was next (Antwerp).  In the city center of Antwerp, there are a number of historic buildings, churchs, bell towers, statues, etc..  Next to one particular batch of statues was an individual who painted himself to resemble the statues, and with his eyes closed, it was a damn close match.  A double take on the artist was required as was able to stand very still.  Some kids attempted to fish their hands into his contribution cup, to which he broke his stance and slowly moved his cane over to brush their hands away.  Since I was marginally entertained and I took a picture of him, I tossed a few coins in.

Some people complain that these people need to “get off their lazy bums and find a job”.  In some respect, the artist or musician provides some for of entertainment and that could qualift as a job.

Anyway, here’s a video I shot with a digital camera in Inverness, Scotland of a street bagpipe player (May, 2005)


Tags: Random

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment