As I as driving home after visiting that customer, the traffic light turned to red and as usual, since everyone stopped, I had to stop as well. And that's when I noticed a haggard looking Malay chap. The way he dresses, you could assume only two things. This was because he has a pair of khaki pants, a shirt (T-shirt?) and an outer coat, like those worn by golfers, unbottoned. He wore it as if its a coat. Its a bit shabby as if he did not washed for days or working like crazy. And then, there is his unkempt beard and uncombed hair. Anyway, after walking about in the divider, he knocked on my car.
And this is where I got my defenses up. The way he knocked was what alerted me. If you're in a desperate need of help, you would rap your knuckles on the window glass or, tap gently with your finger tips. But no, he used the back of his fingers and knocked on the lower part of the door, presenting a non-urgent but devil-may-care attitude. And so, in case he wants to put a knife into the window as I wound down, I just opened the window a fraction.
Man: Hay, hey can you help me? (His English was quite good)
Me: Sure, how can I help you?
Man: My car, my car broke down. (He did not point where)
Me: OK, this is emergency. Yeah, I can help you.
Man: No, no. RM50. I need RM50 for the car.
Me: Never mind, I can take you there. Where's your car?
Man: No, no. Just RM50. Need to pay workshop. (He looked scared now)
Me: Never mind. Here, you can sit at the back, I'll take you there
Man: No, no. Just RM50 they guy is there.
Me: Come, come, you look tired. Where is he? I can U-turn now (I'm calling his bluff)
Finally, the light is about to turn green and the man is unsure of what he want to do next to get the RM50 from me.
Man: No, No. I just need RM50, you have or not?
Me: No, man. Sorry. My Wife left me and my Dog just died
Man: Ok, OK. (And he left without saying anything else, not even a thanks)
And I know he does not have a car. And there is no workshop guy. And as I looked behind with me side mirror, he has disappeared.
This is how they work. They will come to you, with sob stories or other sad things to get you to part with your cash to help them catch a bus to go back home/repair his car/lost in the city, etc. Some would sound convincing and some has a lot of holes like a kitchen sieve. And it is up to you to either give them the money (Like RM50 for a taxi to anywhere or just for MacDonalds) or "help" them. And then, the rest is up to you. But sometimes, you also have to be aware if they have an accomplice or is a girl or old lady as their advantage would be to cry in public, making you the bad guy regardless of the story. Cry rape and you're still the bad guy regardless. Or you get held up at knife-point by their accomplice/s. As all the doors in the car was locked, only I could do this without any repercussions. But then, I had a very bad day already and nothing can make it worse because I am willing to release my unmanaged anger.
Some experiences I had, which most would go away.
RM50 for a taxi.
"Really? Let me take you there and save the money"
RM50 for a taxi to Ipoh
"Sure, I help you today, and when you have the money, you pass it to another person. Or GOD will punish you"
RM50 for workshop guy (today)