Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Beggars, are human too

this is not a real photo of Mr Anonymous
It was a chilly night at a foreign land.
I was trying to figure out the way to operate a washing machine at a self-laundry shop with my parent.
There was a guy staring forlornly at the corner of the shop.
Self-laundry shop is not common in Malaysia.
This guy who dressed in ripped clothes walked towards us from the corner and taught us how to use it.
He even gave us some tips to get to know the machines prior to utilising it.
He's a beggar, he told.
Yet he is a regular visitor at this shop.
Despite general perception of beggars are dirty, he do take care of his personal hygiene.
"Where are you from?", he asked.
We began to chit chat while we were waiting for our clothes to be washed and dried.
"Did you see the bento over there? I use to eat at here and throw it over there," he pointed at the dumpsite.
He began to share his story of daily (working) life.
There was laughter during the conversation.
"I was convicted and sentenced to jail - framed by my friend", he uttered.
Friends. With a tinge of disappointment and sadness, he continued "I was not liked by the employers. Do you know why? I don't have my identity card anymore."
The employers didn't want (and some dare not) to employ him.
He shared that he had a short stint after jail yet he was discriminated and being accused for wrongdoings that he did not commit.
Employment is more difficult when he's not in the city.
"I had no choice but to beg for money."
"I like to clean up myself daily but I cannot look decent when I'm at work - others will not bother to donate to me".
He then showed us how he will groom himself when he needed a place to sleep during winter; he sleeps at pavement when the weather is bearable.
"The rental cost over here is too expensive, I can't afford it".
He then showed us a bag of coins - his only treasure.
The drying machine stopped and he took his clothes.
"It has been raining these few days and it is really very cold, I only had this to keep myself warm," he smiled while telling us and wore the jacket.
As soon as he folded and packed his clothes in a small bag, he left.

I like to listen to stories. Never thought that I'd be able to learn and listen such sad sharing from an anonymous who is being despised and rejected by most of the people. Beggars are human too - they ought to be treated by respect.

Thank you Mr. Anonymous. May you have better new year ahead.


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