I Felt Ashamed

My first night in Buenos Aires I went to a restaurant with two Australians I knew from Cordoba. After our meal a 40’s-something woman with a stack of newspapers came inside the restaurant and walked to our table. Before she had a chance to open her mouth I told her we don’t speak Spanish. She said that’s fine because she speaks English, that she is homeless and selling newspapers for about 75 cents US. I ignored her, brushed her aside like she was nobody. You have people coming at you with some pitch so many times a day that it’s hard not to develop a shield to it.

Twelve days later I got a large cheese pizza for takeout and ate it at the hostel. The pizza was so good that the only thing to do the cheese grease justice was to wash it down with a coke. I went to the kiosco across the street and was second in line behind a woman. She paid and through the cage I asked for my coke. Trying to explain I wanted the mas pequeña size, my horrible Spanish accent got her attention and she looked at me. I recognized her as the woman trying to sell the newspapers.

I don’t remember who spoke first, but she asked me where I was from and said I looked Argentine. I joked how no Argentine guy has as much hair as me. We talked for about five minutes, about left and right brain differences and how she likes art and how my scientist gig didn’t do it for me and how her engineer friend has social issues. We were two strangers having an interesting conversation.

She had a large bag on her shoulder which had the newspapers. I was waiting for her to ask me to buy me one, which I was happily going to do. But she never asked.


  1. inSOMnia December 19, 2007 at 9:24 am

    This is a good post. Yet very sad. I can imagine how you feel bro.

  2. Bobby Rio December 19, 2007 at 9:58 am

    I will never forget the first time i was in Buenos Aires was right after their banking crash like 5 or 6 years ago. Our money was like 4-1 and I felt like a king.

    I came out of a club at dawn with an Argenine girl I met, and standing outside was the cutest little girl no older than five. She was selling roses.

    Normally I would never buy a rose for a girl i jsut met, but the thought that this girl’s parent sent her out at 530 am to sell roses made me so sad. She wanted one peso for a rose. I handed her a ten. She didn’t have change. I told her to keep it.

    The girl burst into tears and started hugging my leg like I was her long lost daddy.

    I have a clearer image and fonder memories of that little girl than the argentine girl i left the club with.

    Bobby Rio’s last blog post: Jaime Lynn Spears is Pregnant at 16.

  3. Rajia December 19, 2007 at 11:13 am

    The first time I went to the Dominican Republic, some friends and I went on an ATV tour through the sugar cane. It started to rain, and in the DR it doesn’t just rain, it floods. We ended up having to ride the ATVs back through huge puddles of mud that came up to beyond our shoes.

    When we got back to the resort, we took off our sneakers and decided they were too disgusting to keep, so we threw them in the trash. Moments later, we saw a couple of hotel workers go and dig them out to take home.

    It was a real humbling moment. And just the first of many in my travels.

  4. Schtomper December 19, 2007 at 11:16 am

    Nothing to feel ashamed about. You simply had your bitch shield up because you’ve been hit on so many times, so to speak.

  5. John Smith December 19, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    Sometimes brushes with the poor motivate us to go into public service and do something with our lives.

    Others have brushes with the poor, become introspective, use it as a story with their friends, and continue their lives of consumerism.

    Others are too busy wondering about what’s gonna happen on the next episode of reality TV.

    John Smith’s last blog post: NYT Fallacies.

  6. Wendy December 19, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    I know from your last post that you don’t believe in God. But, I being a Christian, well this post reminded me of a verse in the Bible I can’t quote. But, the gyst of it, “Be kind to everyone as you never know when you may be entertaining Angels unawares.”

    We are all guilty of this and what we may think an annoyance or a lowly person, may be as you found an Angel.

    Great post, great lesson and I am happy you had the conversation as it gave her worth to you, and you learned she is just a smart woman working a hard job. Nothing more or less.

    Wendy’s last blog post: Friday Snow.

  7. Anonymous December 19, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    So when are you going to learn how to juggle, Roosh?

  8. D December 19, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    this anonymous guy is really a buzz kill

  9. Karate Man Goo December 19, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Was she cute?

  10. John Smith December 19, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    Unfortunately, T, that happens too often.

    John Smith’s last blog post: NYT Fallacies.

  11. I don't know why you feel bad December 24, 2007 at 2:37 am

    She obviously wasn’t homeless. Just be glad that you didn’t give her the $.75.

  12. JC March 6, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    “”Nothing to feel ashamed about. You simply had your bitch shield up because you’ve been hit on so many times, so to speak. “”

    Hahhahaha … nice

    Nothing to be ashamed about Roosh, you don’t owe her a living. You exercised your choice.
    Why should you have to be emotionally blackmailed into making a purchase ??

  13. duowei May 21, 2008 at 5:35 am

    Dear Duowei, Could you please remove this video? I constantly scan this site for earthquake news from China. It is annoying to run into this one a couple of times. She doesn’t deserve a spot here. We all know that there are sick people in the world, but it is not the proper time and place to get upset by them or to worry about them. Thanks!

  14. duowei May 21, 2008 at 5:45 am

    but it is not the proper time and place to get upset by them or to worry about them.