Sunday, 8 April 2012

Thought Picnic: The Times Are Hard


A phone to make you look silly
Veering off the routine of being a hermit I wandered into the city centre to have my mobile phone sorted out. For a while, it was not connecting to Mobile Internet considering it is part of my package, but as I got to the shop, everything seemed to work fine, it left me looking rather silly.
After leaving the shop though, the connection was lost again, it took a complete shut down and restarting of the phone for the service to present any semblance of stability.
Disguises of begging hungry
That however, was not what caught my attention the most but the number of people in all sorts of costumes, fancy dress or masquerade gear looking regal, weird, scary or terrifying.
There must have been 15 of them, some even in pairs, all gesturing to tourist to pose for pictures with them for a token fee. At least 4 were dressed like the Grim Reaper complete with scythe and guttural voices to strike terror in kids and amusement in passers-by.
The competition for curious tourists willing to pose was fierce and keen, what was once an occasional novelty has now become a travesty with tourists literally being jostled, the subtext being, this a sophisticated begging, there are problems out there and it is exemplified in this rather innocuous entertainment.
The times are hard
The once generous safety-nets of social welfare are not as generous and hardly enough to meet daily needs. I would hate to think it is desperate, but the stark reality is only desperation would have driven people to clown around on main streets to eke out a living – God bless their souls.
If the competition was not stiff enough in terms of how bizarre you had to look to be attractive and attract custom, there was this singular lady with an accordion playing tunelessly but expecting a hand-out.
The one that took it to the next level of necessity being the mother of innovation was when I saw a dog posing with sunglasses – for a token amount, you could take a picture. The times are really hard.

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