Saturday, October 28, 2006

Beggers and Liars

I was waiting for the bus one day when a woman sidled up to me and asked, "Do you speak English?" I answered yes without thinking and she immediately launched into a speech about her being a single mother and needing food for her kids. Somehow, I didn't believe her and stood there awkwardly while she continued persuading me. After sensing my lack of compassion, she moved on to her next target. I wondered if she ever got any money this way.

Walking down a deserted street a couple months later, I saw the same woman coming toward me. It was too late to turn around so I just continued forward even though I was dreading the encounter. Sure enough, she asked the same thing, I shook my head no and walked on.

So ashamed. I guess I've become a true New Yorker now and no sad stories could move me. AND I pretended I didn't speak English, I've sunken pretty low.