In my last post I said that no one treats me in a negative way because I’m a foreigner but there’s one exception! The Beggars!
Deeehy Tooouuk Ouurrrr Jeeeooobsss!
The homeless people in Toronto have nothing on the people who ask for change in China. In Toronto the beggars usually sit on the side of the road in a busy place with a cup or a sign and just ask if you can spare some change as people walk by. If not they leave you alone and sometimes even say “god bless you”… how nice. The ones in china are a little more pushy, especially for us foreigners… First of all the don’t wait for people to walk buy them, they actively seek you out. They run around to each person get right up in your face to ask for change. If the other Chinese people say no they usually try to talk them into it for a second but then they move on. But for us foreigners they never ever ever ever give up!
On multiple occasions I’ve had them march up to me and point at their cups and ask for money in Chinese, over and over and over and over. No matter how much you say no to them they just don’t stop, and it sucks cause you also have no idea what they are saying and they go on and on. Then after about 5 minutes of that when you ignore them for long enough they start poking you over and over and try harder and harder to get your attention. They poke and poke and talk and talk and talk and they just don’t stop. It sucks too because they usually get you while you’re waiting for a bus so you can’t just leave either.
I have pretty awesome patience and I’m decent at tuning people out but I hope I learn a way to deal with these homeless Chinese because they are so relentless!
(update Nov 21 ’09: They… never… ever… stop…)