As I was having lunch at a well known cafe in Bangsar today….heck, lets just reveal its name “PAPPA RICH”, yes you all know that one…at the corner…I was nicely waiting for the food to be served (presenting, of course, the most opportune moment) an old Indian lady came up to me…very politely. She was dressed alright, carrying a plastic bag of what looked like food.
She introduced herself with very good english…as “Hello, I’m from Banting (something something) and my husband has died. I just recently went for a leg operation. See this plastic bag, its food that some ladies have cooked for me and I would like to ask for a small donation please just maybe 10 or 20 ringgit”. I dont know why I heard (too late) the waiter behind me saying “excuse me, excuse me” and I failed to realise.
Finally I gave her 10 bucks – let me clarify. I hardly give any money to coffeeshop beggars, especially if they are able-bodied. And even if I did, it wouldnt be more than 1 ringgit. This woman, in her good english and pleading eyes made me do something out of the ordinary.
Just then, another customer from another table came to me and say “She’s cheated you! She comes here everday. She lives across the street and has 2 daughters. She sometimes tells other kinds of stories.”As he spoke to me, I could see her hurrying away down the street – quite swiftly, I gathered, as much as her ‘just operated leg” would allow.
I guess this is the first time I was truly cheated and being TOLD about it. And the first time I had given away so much. I concede, I learn my lesson, the hard way. And to all of you….keep an open eye, keep your donations to charity to registered foundations.
If there is one thing I hate to hear being told to me…its “You were cheated!” Makes you want to go over there and strangle her. But of course, realistically, I could only sink back into my seat and continue with my now ‘less than appetising’ meal. I realise now, that being a good Christian doesnt mean being a stupid one. Your heart should be soft, but at the right places, and the right times and not just blindly.
Anyway, I hope that lady spent the 10 bucks on something worthwhile. This post makes it into my “WHAT THE?” category!