I saw her from a distance. Disheveled grey loosely permed hair. Sunken eyes. Missing teeth. Stumbling forward with a 4-legged cane.
Politely, I moved out of her way so she could have more space on the sidewalk, but she directed her crippled walk towards me again, coming closer and closer. When she came close enough for me to hear her frail voice, she asked me to please give her some money in support of something or other, in exchange for a little square sticker I could wear to show off how generous I was.
I said no nicely but for the next 2 blocks towards the office, I zig-zagged around old lady after old lady with a sheet of stickers in her hand asking for donations. All of them were painfully old, sad and pitiful. If she wasn’t walking with a limp, she had a droopy eyelid, or just a really bad perm.
I was shocked. Whose idea was it to put old seniors out on the dirtiest street in Wanchai (Lockhart) to ask for money, knowing that they will most likely be cruelly rejected by 90% of passerbys? As if their lives weren’t rough enough being old, frail and alone!! 😦
Sure enough, it might be a good tactic in getting pity donations from people. But it didn’t work on me.