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Tony Grist

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Bosnians [May. 26th, 2009|12:21 pm]
Tony Grist
A young woman comes to the door. She's wearing a headscarf and an ankle-length skirt. It's not entirely beside the point that she's pretty.

"No Muslim?" she asks. I guess she's been told that this is a Muslim street.

"No, I'm not a Muslim," I say.

She bows from the waist, hands held together as if in prayer,  then extends one hand, open,  with a pound coin lying on the palm. She says other things- mostly in a foreign language- out of which I pick the one word "Bosnian".

As I turn to go back into the house to fetch her what she wants I see another young woman, similarly dressed, on the pavement behind her.

I give her a coin. She bows again and says, "God bless you."  I say, "God bless you too."

Ailz, who has been watching from an upstairs window tells me that there's a whole gang of them going house to house. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2009-05-26 09:12 pm (UTC)
You report this very dispassionately. What do you actually think of what she was doing?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-05-26 09:41 pm (UTC)
I don't know. I really don't. To form anything like a true opinion I'd have to have background information. My rule of thumb with beggars is, "if in doubt, give".

I'm a soft touch.
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From: (Anonymous)
2009-05-26 09:56 pm (UTC)
Hindsight is, as they say, 20:20. If I knew there was a gang of them "doing" the street the cynic in me would say that looks like an easy way to make money :p.
If I didn't know that then I'm not sure what I would think.
Perhaps you should have followed her home and scoped her pad out. Or better still, dress up a bit dishevelled and knock on her door with a coin in your hand. See what she does when the tables are turned..
Tom F
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-05-27 08:58 am (UTC)
Beggars make me feel guilty. Giving them something eases that guilt. Peace of mind is worth a little loose change. :)

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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2009-05-27 04:06 pm (UTC)
I expect you will be seeing more of them from now on. They pass the word along.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-05-27 07:47 pm (UTC)
Yes, indeed.

I saw a lot of beggars when I was a priest....
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