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Old 02-23-2006, 08:36 AM   #1
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If you are in a public place with a backpack you are a target. Lets face it with a backpack you might as well have mug tatooed on your forehead.

When being hassled in the streets almost invariably you will be asked first " excuse me you speak english???" Whatever they say to you first it will be in english......this is their weakness.

At this point you say "izvinee ya nye gavaryu pa angliski.......tee gavareet pa rooski da?'' (sorry i dont speak english.......you speak russian yes?) This should leave them quite befuddled giving you a chance to stroll away calmly. It worked for me with the italian beggars anyways.

N.B This may not work if you have a giant canadian maple leaf on your backpack, or if you are actually in russia. No problems really, just reply in swahili. Make it up if you need to. whatever happens, it will be funny anyways........
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:41 AM   #2
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I've used this!

I got alot of guys trying to buy me "smokes" and coffees. Man, as soon as I started with the little Russian I learned for the very purpose, they got a wierd look to their face and backed off. It didn't immediately make them go running, but it seemed to signal there would be no conversation here!

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Old 02-23-2006, 09:48 AM   #3
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Yeah, when people in other countries approach me in bad English, I know they probably think I'm a mark, so I bust out with Farsi or French or something utterly confusing and made up.
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:53 PM   #4
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Yeah, I tend to make up the languages, although it always resembles Czech or something. Although there are times that that doesn't work, like being in Paris for example, and having a man follow you for blocks saying, "Oh, you don't speak English? German? Italian? Chinese? Russian?" until he's either run out of languages or turned the corner to see people ready to help out this little backpacker!
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Old 02-23-2006, 05:25 PM   #5
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I just say "nope" and walk away...
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Old 02-23-2006, 07:43 PM   #6
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i just play mind games with them...and tell them ill meet them there in half hour and dont show.............gets borin after a while tho so i just bust out radom jibberish
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Old 02-23-2006, 10:45 PM   #7
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good advice guys!
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Old 02-24-2006, 07:49 AM   #8
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Lithuanian's perfect for this, and I've used it a couple of times. A language spoken by less than 4 million people, odds are pretty slim that I'm going to run into someone who speaks it! And if they do, they'd be so stunned they'd probably turn from harasser to protector!

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Old 02-25-2006, 02:17 PM   #9
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I use indonesian. I don't look indonesian at all but most europeans couldn't even identify the language so it works for me.
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Old 02-25-2006, 05:36 PM   #10
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am I going to be harrassed a lot? I have a yellow face, is that good enough? People tended to not think I was American when I was in Europe last summer, but I wasn't be harrassed. The worst I got was people yelling things like "arigato" and "sayonara" at me.
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Old 02-28-2006, 10:15 AM   #11
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Scottish gaelic is handy, id be pretty surprised if anyone understood it. :D

Chaneil Beurla agam, A bheil Gidhlig agad? Cit a bheil an taigh beag?


I dont speak English, do you speak Gaelic? Where is the toilet?
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Old 02-28-2006, 01:00 PM   #12
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If someone starts hasselling you and they wont leave, sometimes if you start begging from them and asking them for money it makes them leave. A little reverse psychology

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Old 02-28-2006, 01:30 PM   #13
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well i never had a backpack but i dont know how i get badgered for being a tourist...When me and my mate Rach went to Lithuania we got hounded by a guy for money. Im a bit of a sucker for a sad story ((god help me if i win the lottery this week!) anyway rach is completely the opposite she will not give into them! We were walking back from the store after buying some bread rolls ready to make some lunch on the coach journey to Riga and this guy was telling us how he was homeless and hadnt eaten for 2 days...i wanted to give him some money but Rach wouldnt let me and we ended up havin an argument because i gave him the bread rolls! This man started to cry because we had give him some food so I just want you guys to remember that in Eastern Europe there is still severe poverty and if you can spare your loose coins when leaving see if the local tourist info centre knows if there is a homeless centre where you can donate your loose change small notes you wont use, I know that Lithuania had one of these homeless exchange places (tumbleweedz might be able to clarify this)
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Old 02-28-2006, 08:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by beergal1@Feb 28 2006, 10:30 PM
well i never had a backpack but i dont know how i get badgered for being a tourist...When me and my mate Rach went to Lithuania we got hounded by a guy for money. Im a bit of a sucker for a sad story ((god help me if i win the lottery this week!) anyway rach is completely the opposite she will not give into them! We were walking back from the store after buying some bread rolls ready to make some lunch on the coach journey to Riga and this guy was telling us how he was homeless and hadnt eaten for 2 days...i wanted to give him some money but Rach wouldnt let me and we ended up havin an argument because i gave him the bread rolls! This man started to cry because we had give him some food so I just want you guys to remember that in Eastern Europe there is still severe poverty and if you can spare your loose coins when leaving see if the local tourist info centre knows if there is a homeless centre where you can donate your loose change small notes you wont use, I know that Lithuania had one of these homeless exchange places (tumbleweedz might be able to clarify this)
[snapback]104638[/snapback]
it was somewhere in the baltics, probably Vilinius where there was these cards to give to beggers, i remember them giving them out in shops. I think basicly it just had the address of a place they could go to get help and food etc.
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Old 03-02-2006, 05:04 AM   #15
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Yes, in vilnius the homeless shelters and soup kitchens (usually run by the church because state funding is pretty meagre) made up a special card which is given out by the tourist info offices and other shops with the names/addresses of all the shelters, and the city/shelters really request that people give out the cards because there isn't alot of outreach and a lot of the people who need help don't know that it is out there.

We were struck by the problem of begging every day in Vilnius and it really is a difficult situation. There is a lot of genuine need out there, especially the little old ladies who are hard pressed to survive on their meagre state pensions (like $100/mo - not much in a country where prices are rapidly catching up to European standards), but unfortunately, there are also a good number of people who will certainly be using the money for drugs and alcohol, which are causing severe social problems in Lithuania, especially among the unemployed young, tragically. Again, having had the benefit of living there, we soon were able to figure out the ones - generally, young men who speak pretty good English are less in need for their daily bread, as it were. There was one guy who stopped me countless times with the "I'm just asking for bread" line ... but he becomes quite abusive when you say no, and some people I knew (locals even) felt quite threatened by him, as he's a big guy. (Beergal, I'm almost positive this is the same guy that badgered you - the tears change quickly to abuse if you don't give anything, in his case.) Another fellow we saw frequently would sometimes steal people's meals from off their cafe tables, and then a few minutes later would be seen eating an ice cream and smoking with some friends around the corner. Ah, what can you do?

Our general policy was to support people who were making some sort of effort, (kids playing instruments in the streets, old ladies selling their bundles of flowers for a pittance, and who gave you the most appreciative looks and abundant blessings when you didn't ask for change back) and we also gave to various groups through our church and social groups. But that's tougher to do when you're just passing through. What I would suggest is, if you have any extra food or drink (preferably not alcohol, that causes some pretty serious problems, including a fire that burned down some sheds across from our flat, which put a dozen or so people out of what meagre shelter they had that winter) when you're leaving, or for some reason you have a sweater or shoes that you're not going to need/want later on, put it neatly and openly beside any one of the many garbage dumpsters. I guarantee that people will use it, and it's a lot more dignified than putting it inside and forcing people to root around in the muck.) And as beergal suggested, dropping off your spare change at a shelter would be a great way to ensure that it gets to the needy - two groups that I volunteered with were: the Sisters of Charity, who run a homeless shelter near the bus depot (you can get the address from the tourism offices); and Caritas, which runs a programme for children and women who are battling alcoholism, abuse, poverty etc (in Odminiu g. near the City Park Hotel).

And while you're in Vilnius, you can also put your tourist litai to positive use by eating at Mano Guru in Vilniaus g. It's a restaurant operated as a drug rehab programme, offering former addicts and at risk youth an opportunity to get off the streets, get some job training and skills and an income as well as some serious self-esteem. It's one of the few non-smoking establishments in the city (Baltoji Dramblys is the only other one I'm aware of) which is pleasant if you prefer that environment, serves no alcohol, so it closes at 8, and has some of the best breakfasts and salads in town. Oh, now I'm craving their caesar salad!)


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Old 03-02-2006, 05:47 AM   #16
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great advice Tamara!
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Old 03-02-2006, 06:26 AM   #17
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^ Aciu.
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Old 03-23-2006, 01:57 PM   #18
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spartan@Feb 28 2006, 05:00 PM
If someone starts hasselling you and they wont leave, sometimes if you start begging from them and asking them for money it makes them leave. A little reverse psychology


[snapback]104631[/snapback]
Awsome idea, I'll have to remember that one!
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Old 03-24-2006, 08:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by mr-turisty@Feb 28 2006, 11:15 AM
Scottish gaelic is handy, id be pretty surprised if anyone understood it. :D

Chaneil Beurla agam, A bheil Gidhlig agad? Cit a bheil an taigh beag?
I dont speak English, do you speak Gaelic? Where is the toilet?
[snapback]104605[/snapback]
I didn't think the Scotts understood each other, even....
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