The beaming of the sun rays awakens the buds of the flowers to bloom, and it also makes me a little more joyous. The spring propels us to stimulate our deep hibernating senses to welcome the arrival of a joyful season. You might want to rub away the sleep in your eyes and prepare to be amazed at how nature awakens. The leaves will grow and be so evergreen, and the flowers are going to bloom and paint the sidewalks and grass with their vibrant colors.
I stepped my foot in Oslo since Thursday and came home this afternoon. When I arrived in Oslo and went to meet my friend after a few minutes as I sat down nearby Max Burger at Karl Johan, a Romanian woman approached me and begged me for money, but since I got no change in my pocket, she asked if she could have a cigarette instead. I gladly gave her one and thought that was it, but she then said to me “You are so pretty, princess, could you please help buy milk to my newborn child?” I was a bit hesitant since I wasn’t sure if she was serving me a lie or if she was sincere. She told me she didn’t have money to buy milk for her premature baby and the money she got from selling Oslo’s magazine wasn’t enough. She begged and cried while telling me that she was in dire need and would want me to go with her to buy the milk if I didn’t have the money to give her. My tender heart couldn’t withstand a story like that, so I agreed to walk with her to the pharmacy which she said sell milk for newborn babies. I felt a bit stress since my friend would be at the meeting point very soon, and didn’t quite catch what the Romanian lady was saying, so I walked with her and asked her questions whether she was with her husband or not, how long she has stayed in Norway, etc. I didn’t have the time to be skeptic even if I was my heart nudge me to follow this lady. We walked a few steps, and I asked her, “where is the pharmacy?” And she pointed towards the castle and that it would be around the corner in the middle of TGI Friday’s or something; I wasn’t sure where it was, neither did I have the time to walk so far. I was almost declining, but she was so desperate, so I asked her how much the milk cost and she said it was 500NOK. My eyes got widen and I thought to myself “Milk shouldn’t be that expensive?!”
But then I don’t have a clue when it comes to baby’s milk or anything else regarding newborn babies whose mother doesn’t produce mother’s milk, and I have never had a child of my own to judge whether the milk should or shouldn’t be expensive.
She then suggested me to take out money from the ATM, which I was unsure of because there were thoughts that says she could be tricking me and all she cared for was the money; there weren’t any child to rescue. I negotiated that I couldn’t help much but giving her 200NOK, she wanted more, but all I have in my bank account weren’t much, and I was planning to stay in Oslo for four days. Either way, I cashed out the money at the nearby ATM and gave her my 200NOK and told her that I hope she would get the money to buy the milk and that she should always be honest otherwise people will not likely help her again or at all for that matter. She thanked me and said now she needed only 300NOK more; we parted ways, and I thought to myself “Maybe she did lie, and I was being tricked? Or maybe…” But then I felt that if she lied and the story she told me was all made up, but it will be a consequence she would have to face later. All I know is that I wanted to help for who I am, not because it sounds “nice,” and it wouldn’t sound nice if I were tricked either, whether it was a lie or the truth she gave me an experience. It was a mix of different feelings that arise, the fear, the compassion and overall being humble enough to take responsibility for my action.
I have rejected to give money to beggars or homeless people many times before because of the fear of being tricked or thinking to myself that I don’t have any money to be sharing; my heart always bleeds. Often most of us reject people because of their low status or because we have been hearing so many negative things about them or that we felt we didn’t have enough money ourselves, and we become the critical skeptic and feel the annoyance when they approach us. Although we have the right to say no, but instead of bashing them for begging we could at least walk in their shoes and understand why they have to do the things they need to do to survive.
The roles we play in the lives of each other is to either teach or learn. I didn’t feel so bothered by the thoughts that the story might be a lie or that I could have spent that 200NOK on myself. I had the background noise that said I was being tricked, but the wise voice at the front line said, “You did what you could at the given moment, whether that woman lied to you or was telling the truth, she would face the consequence of her action.” I felt at ease and put all the skeptical questions away, and rather enjoyed my time with my friend.
The past few days have been fun, and my passion for cooking hasn’t get dull. I made us dinner, and my friend invited her friend over on Saturday. We had a lovely evening; eating and had meaningful conversations; it was my kind of “vacation.” I never hesitate to say yes to cooking, and probably one day I would open a Cafe of my own and share my passion with everyone else.
Life would be dull without passion, and the joy of spring is to experience the vitality and vibrancy of nature.