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Was I conned or what?

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
You need a story:

I was once sitting in a cafe in Merida (on the VdlP) having coffee (I stayed there for 4 days due to hurt feet), when an old widow came by, begging for some coins. I gave her nothing. As she left around the corner, I suddenly thought to myself "You must be the worst pilgrim in the world! Here you are sitting with more than enough money to walk across Spain, but you cannot afford some pocket money for a poor old woman!"

So I ran after her, but she was gone.

The next day I returned to the same cafe hoping she would return, and she did. I had her sit down and relax, ordered a cup of coffee for her, took my hat and collected coins from the rest of the guests there, together with my own pocket money. It became quite a few Euros. I received two of the sweetest kisses in my life on each cheek as she left.

Lesson learned: Give to those who need: You will most likely receive more than what you give, both inside yourself as well as in the exterior world. After meeting that old woman, I never pass by a needing person without giving some. She taught me a very strong lesson. "Give and you shall receive". I have enough to share a little for the less fortunate. If you are "conned", so be it: We all meet a..holes, but in the long run, you will win by sharing with those who really need. And they are quite easy to spot, aren't they?
I don't think so - just read the story to the end. Buen Camino, SY
Who knows.....perhaps it started off as a scam. But the following day, as @alexwalker described it, he paid some attention to the old widow, showed that he cared, assisted her as he did, and showed her some kindness - perhaps the first bit of kindness she had experienced for months - and her heart was softened and she responded accordingly. One of our members recently likened the giving of charity to the story of the abbé in Les Misérables giving the candlesticks to Valjean and wondered if she could do the same. Well, I like to think that our story here is along the same lines.

Sometimes my imagination makes me very happy. :):):)
 

long trails

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2016
Portugues April 2017
I had a couple of pilgrims ask me for money along the CF.

If you cannot afford to do a Camino then aren't you better off saving up rather than relying on others?
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
I had a couple of pilgrims ask me for money along the CF.

If you cannot afford to do a Camino then aren't you better off saving up rather than relying on others?
No.

Some could have money but due to some circumstances have not enough that day to go further.

Some might have found themselves in an exceptional situation that day that required money.

Yes, some might not have enough " savings " to begin with in the first place.
Especially some of my fellow Europeans who just can start from their door ( no airfaretickets to pay ) with walking do not always have enough funds to sponsor their endeavour. It is not my preferred way of living ( because I have the luck of some savings and being a control freak ) but if they are ok with it who am I to judge.

And yes than there are the professional Camino wanderers / pilgrims who make a living on this Camino. Sometimes doing the odd job here and there and turn to asking for money.

All these four examples are for me a metaphor of what could happen in " real life " too.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I see both points of view...I think a bit of planning should go into such a trip, including investigation of exchange rates and calculation of costs. OTOH stuff happens. I have been blessed, yet once left my wallet in the Pentagon and held up a long line at a toll booth scraping up pennies off of my car floor. As someone else pointed out, we are never forced to give. And I am grateful I've never had to beg.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
[[Life is not always simple, and sometimes the best acts of charity do not involve money.]]

Amen.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - (2015)
Camino Frances - (2016)
Camino Finisterre Muxia (2017)
Somewhere between Herrerias and O Cebreiro the other day I was approached by a young couple who said they were Hungarian pilgrims returning from Santiago and could I help them.
I gave them 5 Euros thinking I'd rather be the victim of a con than deny someone who needed help because I suspected I was being duped.
Stephen,
I met this couple last September while I was coming down to Acebo on from Alto Altar Major. They also said they were Hungarians coming from Santiago and returning home on foot. They also asked for money as they were pennyiless. I gave them one euro and hurried downhill as this seemed to me very strange and also felt very unsafe as I was totally on my own in rhis remote area.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - (2015)
Camino Frances - (2016)
Camino Finisterre Muxia (2017)
Hi Stephen...I came across this Hungarian couple whole I was going down to Acebo from Alto Altar Mayor...some time late September. They were going uphill and stopped me asking for money. They said they came from Santiago and were walking back home and had no money. They looked very tired. This seemed a bit strange to me and gave them a euro whicj I hsd in my picket. To be honest I was a lone pilgrime and there was no one to be seen in this remote area. I felt quite insecure to take out my wallet.
Buen Camino
 


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