Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Are We No' a' Beggars?

Just before the entrance to the subway at Govan Cross, a woman approaches me.
"Could you spare 50 p?" she asks, "it's just for somethin to eat."
I slow down and look in my bag, unzip my purse and search around for coins amidst the bundle of receipts and tickets that live in there.
She is dark haired and blue eyed, late 30s, worried looking, anxious.
"We're waitin for a crisis loan, but it's no come through an we're just tryin to get somethin to eat. 50 pence would be great."
She nods over past me, but I don't look round, "My man's askin as well. It's just takin ages to get the crisis loan. We're in a homeless unit in Ibrox."

"Here ye go," and I give her a pound coin that I pull out along with a twenty pence and a couple of coppers. "Where ye staying?" I ask.
"A homeless place in Ibrox,"she says, "we've been offered a house in Govan, but it's no through yet."

I'm dropping the twenty p. and the coppers back into my purse and at the same time thinking how stupid that is - I should just have given her all the change. Daft.
And daft is exactly what some would say I am for giving her anything at all. But, oh well, at the end of the day, are we not all beggars?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I saw the same woman - one of a couple - a few weeks ago; could possibly even have been the same day. As I'd only 7p change, I couldn't oblige. But while waiting (for bus)observed their same-sex approach strategy. It was the guy who asked me - around 40-45,small, dark and thickset.