The other day when we arrived at Suzhou train station and lined up to get a taxi we had to pass the usual line of beggars. By now I have been standing in that line so many times that I recognize those ones that always stand there: one old man with the beard and one old, hunch-back woman. I almost always give the woman some money, she never says anything but her face tells a story itself.
This time, however, the “crowd” had gotten a new “member” namely a small, cute, quite well-dressed Chinese girl that cannot have been older than 8. She targeted us straight away and followed us along the line.
First she asked for money in English:
-Please, please… I can speak English, so give me some money.
Then, when she realized that didn’t work she turned to Chinese:
-Give me one kuai, give me one kuai! 给我一块钱，给我一块钱！
However, when she realized we weren’t going to give her anything her whole face turned into a furious expression:
-You stingy people! I just asked for one kuai! You foreigners are too stingy! 怎么小气！ 怎么小气！只是一块钱， 你们老外太小气了！
Right. The well dressed “beggar girl” loses it and calls us stingy… hm… not really the best method to get cash. Sure, I get it. I too understand that she would not be there unless she had to, but sometimes I question the credibility of those beggars. Especially little children who only targets laowais and calls you stingy when you refuse to give them money. The one to blame is obviously the people taking care of them who have taught them to do so.