` When Begging Becomes a `Business ‘ in the ` Story of How to Become a Good Beggar ‘ in Germany ‘

#AceGuestNews – HAMBURG – March 30 – The new recruit learned how to be a good beggar on his first day in Germany, on an abandoned lot on the far side of the tracks at Hamburg’s central train station.

At the beginning of his lesson, he was told to put on two old sweaters and was given a blue crutch so that he could practice walking with it.

He would through his left leg further forward than his right, causing his hips to buckle as he stumbled across the grass.

After about 10 meters (40 feet), he came to a stop, bent his upper body forward and said three German words, drawing out the first vowel sound: bitte (please), danke (thank you) and Entschuldigung (excuse me).

Then he haltingly told a story in which he described himself as the father of a son who is waiting for an operation in a Romanian Orphanage.

The child in this story has brittle bone disease, and his limbs are twisted and fragile. The man practised for half an hour while his boss, as he says, stood next to him and watched.

The man, Vasile Rotaru, a 31-year-old whose name has been changed by the editors, has a slight build, a solid belly and thick arms.

He comes from a village in Transylvania, in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, in central Romania. When he arrived in Germany at the beginning of the year, he had a modest dream:

He wanted to find work, perhaps build a small house and achieve happiness. He had no idea of the high standards that exist in the German labour market.

The sky is dark blue on this late January afternoon, three days after his arrival in Hamburg, and Rotaru is standing in a corner at the train station, wrapped in an old jacket. He holds out a paper cup containing a few coins, and appears to be perspiring.

Pedestrians walk past him, buses depart behind him and cooing pigeons land in front of his feet. If someone were to take a long-exposure photograph of Rotaru from above, he would appear as an unmoving dot in the midst of a blurred tide of movement.

Read More: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/a-hamburg-romanian-family-makes-begging-a-dubious-business-a-960866.html

Courtesy of Der Spiegel Article by By Katrin Kuntz


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