Here in Beijing, there are lots of poor people. Some work. Some beg. Some run scams. Some just go hungry.
Recently, a new scam has got us all wondering if there's any moral solution. The flower girl scam.
Take a nine year-old girl, and give her a bunch of roses. Put her outside relatively expensive restaurants and hotels where there are no police, and make her work at night. Then tell her not to let anybody pass her until they buy a rose. Anybody.
She stands in front of you and won't move. She grabs your arm. She holds onto your leg and rides it while you walk down the sidewalk. The whole time she yells in a shrill voice, "lian kuai! Lian kuai!" (two RMB, 25 cents).
Now you're embarrassed. You're wearing your nice clothes. The people you went to dinner with are uncomfortable. You could give her the money and she'd leave you alone. But that would justify the scam. You could run away, but that makes you look like a sissy, running away from a little girl. Plus, then she'll only pester your friends. You could hit her, but then you look like a bully.
This is a real dilemma. Help me solve it!