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Then comes the Gingerbread Man...

Then comes the Gingerbread Man…

Do you not hate it when you go to the weekly night market for a little stroll, only to have to squeeze to the sides and practically lean against the stall vendors’ tables or even somebody else, when a form of vehicle – be it a van or a motorcycle – inches in slowly at the narrow walking path, disrupting human traffic? In night markets, vendors will usually set up their stalls at both sides of the road, so shoppers walk in-between the two long rows of stalls.

There was a van crawling at the narrow path, to the utmost inconvenience of shoppers. We cramped and squashed ourselves to the sides, not wanting to be flattened to pulp on the road by the van. However, almost everyone’s eyes were fixed on a bedraggled beggar, who was frantically dragging himself to the side in order to make way for the van. He would firstly pushed his little red bucket with a few jingling coins inside ahead of him, then pulled his frail, skinny legs behind him on the rough tar road.

I noticed that the van driver looked a bit uncomfortable, but it could not be helped. Actually, no one even wanted to help the poor beggar. All we bystanders could do was to throw sympathetic looks at him, and probably a curse or two at the van driver for making the beggar having to suffer so. Of course, we often cringe at the sight of disheveled tramps and scruffy vagabonds, steering clear off them – and so, there would only be a few good Samaritans out there who would go to the aid of a beggar. I guess there were not any at the night market yesterday.

Then, I wondered how did the beggar ever got to the night market in the first place. He would be there every week, sprawled out at the middle of the road, the little red bucket beside him. Obviously he had trouble moving about, as demonstrated by the van episode. Could it be possible for him to get on a bus just to receive donations from the public at the night market? Or perhaps he lived at one of the back alleys nearby?

There was a time when I read of how a number of unfortunate children were kidnapped and then put out in the streets with a severed limb or two, banking on sympathy from members of the public for donations. The money earned would then be collected by a dark, dodgy syndicate. But that was almost a decade ago, and I hope that now, these devious groups have been wiped off the streets.

Could you imagine the particular beggar being tossed out of a car at every night market in the city – which would return five hours later to fetch him back to wherever they lived?

On another note, the series Witchblade premiered on national television last night, and I could not help but laugh out loud during its ‘doubled’ bullet-time scene (what can I say, for Witchblade is also a Warner Bros. production), which made it a whole more ridiculous than it should. Since its inception in The Matrix, the bullet-time scenes have been reenacted in a number of movies but they have never impressed me – rather, I have always found it poorly done. Probably with the exception of Shrek, that is – because the bullet-time scene in it was meant to be funny.

Details of this entry.Saturday, October 11, 2003, filed under Blogger Archives.
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