Unfortunately you see beggars and homeless people everywhere, more so in developing and less-developed countries. It is probably one of the reasons why our recent trip to Morocco wasn’t one of the best trips I’ve ever done. At some point it does wear you down.
Tour guides usually warn their travel group when visiting a village to not give money to a single kid as once you do, a whole army will start swarming you. I am sure most people who are out there begging for money do it because they need to; and particularly when I see a mother with a young child or children in her arms, it breaks my heart.
Having travelled a lot, I have come across some very special beggars. One instance was on the esplanade along Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We were sitting on a bench soaking the energy of the area after dinner one night but decided to make our way back as we were disturbed by this highly irritating boy who was begging for money, He was the most annoying beggar I had ever met as he started pretending to cry, this horrible sounding cry, and then he’d stop and make faces and held his hand out and then he’d start pretending to cry again.
Earlier that day just some blocks away from the beach, we encountered another child holding his hand out begging for money as we were entering McDonald’s. On our way out, we saw this same child sitting down happily enjoying a McDonald’s ice cream. He once again held his hand out to us asking for money while his other hand was occupied with the ice cream.
An even worse experience was awaiting us in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. We weren’t too far away from the magnificent Registan when a child came up to Peter (my husband) begging for money and when we started to walk away, he wrapped his arms and legs around Peter’s leg stopping him from moving away. I was furious. The child wouldn’t let go even after ten minutes pretending to cry. When I came back for Peter and untangled the child and dragged Peter to come along with me, the child chased us and did the same thing all over again. I had to resort to raising my voice and making Peter make a bigger effort to untangle this child on his own and to get away free.
Aren’t these kids from these different continents really taking the art of begging to another level?