So This Guy Walks Into a Room…

In fact I was hanging out with my friend in Taichung Park. We were just about ready to call it a day when some local guy comes walking towards us. I caught this out of the corner of my eye. Maybe my radar picked it up early because we're still practicing wearing masks in public spaces and social distancing. He wasn't wearing a mask and he was getting kind of close. He was middle aged and dressed ok so he didn't register as a panhandler/park resident. I've had a bit of experience with park dwellers down on their luck and helped out with numerous food and necessity gifts. This guy starts talking in slow deliberate clear English (clearly educated) maybe a manager or boss type?

He starts to explain how he was gambling and lost a bunch of money so was wondering if we could spot him some so he could buy an EZ Card which would entitle him to ride the bus for free back home? Ironically the EZ Card costs NT$100 (about $3.30) but needs to have funds added to it for use on the bus (he requested NT$70-around $2.25) which would result in free ride within 10km. Note-he didn't ask for fare for the bus ride, he had a more elaborate unreasonable ask

So I declined because I felt his request was one of convenience more than desperation. He was probably trying to save himself a walk or some embarrassment calling his wife, family member or friend and telling them the same tale. He also didn't choose to make his pitch to any locals because most of them are not soft touches and maybe he would have felt that would be an even bigger loss of face.Not hating on the guy but realistically if his story was legit and I happened to be in the casino he was in if he had just won. The chances of me successfully asking him for some of his winnings to offset my bad luck that night would be between slim and none.

Now you know why I don't gamble-I hate to lose.

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