Mission Time: Global South VS The (First) World [part 2]
This post is brought to you by the Kuya Fishball’s Fishballs and more. Go get some, it’s just 10 pesos for a cup and it’s just right outside of Burgunday/Beanhoppers alongside Taft Avenue.
My Wednesdays this school year are expected to usually be busy for me because as Art Editor to Malate Literary Folio I often session art meetings every Wednesday during the U-Break hours. Last Wednesday was no different as I met with my art staffers for their first art meeting of the term.
I won’t go into the specifics of what the meeting plan was, but the main things you have to know is that 1. Those magazine pages did not help at all with preventing us from messing up the classroom 2. we had water balloons filled with paint 3. there are no pictures to document this because of how messy the activity was and 4. fun is a understatement to describe this meeting.
Afterwards, there was a suggestion to get some balls (of fish) to cap off the day’s meeting. We ended up heading to the outside of Burgundy and got us some fishballs (though I ordered squid, because goddamn do I love me some squidballs) and spent a good couple of minutes eating street food, talking about random things, drinking soda annnnnnnnnd…
[Above: some of my art staffers in white (plus that one staffer in violet) and some street urchin by the name of Gaby asking for coins]
Normally I just really try to ignore them, especially when I’m walking from UM trying to head to the main gate and I know I’m going to be late for class if I don’t pick up the pace. On certain days, especially when I know I’m going to commute somewhere far-ish (because I believe in pseudo-good-karma), I give spare change to elderly beggars. I have no patience for religious charities given to you by people who pass around white envelopes nor do am I fond of the random sermon going on while I’m trying to sleep on my bus ride home. I don’t really like charity too much. To me it’s just some band-aid solution to a wound that needs extensive medical care. They’re noble though, charities, and most people like them and think they’re making a difference. I like to believe they’re sort of making a difference at least around the area they’re operating at, or at least they’re giving people purpose of some sort. The problem that charities are trying to alleviate will need some heavy duty collective action though, local charities hardly make it up to that. but anyway, long story short: I’m not really the charity type.
I do however like giving out of a whim, whether it be to friends, family, and in this case, the random bunch of sea urchins I had the interesting pleasure to meet for several minutes.
Like my friend Carlos said, it’s funny how they act extra impoverished and downtrodden when begging for spare change but the moment you strike a conversation and/or flip out a camera they get into star!mode.
Treating these kids to some fishballs probably isn’t filling up the gap. I actually don’t think I really did do a good example of it since I bought fishballs and fishballs still seem like a representation of the global south; though I guess coming from me acting as some embodiment of the global north at least in this scenario (the haves and the have-nots) it could still apply. Plus, fishballs taste so much better than a McDonalds cheeseburger when you time it right/put the right amount of sweet chili sauce.
I probably closed the gap for several milliseconds at the most but that good feeling I got from that random act of kindness (well semi-random because I remembered I had to do this for EUROCIR) lasted for the rest of the day.
Allow me to be redundant: Good vibes are good.
Those kids probably are going to ask me for change next time they see me walking around, they’ll probably forget about what I did…probably. I still don’t think charity really works, maybe a chain of charities spearheaded by one large NGO, but not a single local charity alone. Meh, good vibes are still good vibes and are awesome when you need them.