Yes, I am a full grown adult not afraid to admit I was jumped by a 6-year-old. To be more specific I was jumped on and climbed like a tree. Let me back up a bit...
Sometimes you just need to get away and for me, this meant a quick train ride outside of the city with an expat friend. After stepping off of the train I stood looking around to get my bearings and find a taxi when a child runs towards me and jumps on my suitcase. He began to climb up me. LITERALLY UP ME. Hands EVERYWHERE. My friend joined me in an effort to pry off the child and I was in complete shock but remembered where all my important items were scattered on my person and tried to focus on protecting these areas. After the impromptu moderate workout trying to protect my worldly goods (mainly our return tickets), my friend and I got the child off of me. The child ran back over toward a woman who at the time I assumed was a parent in on the job. I kept my eye on them as I rushed towards a taxi hoping to have a weekend with a few more less exciting adventures.
I share this story for two reasons.
1. You will be surprised how easy it is to get used to the crowds. Keep an eye on your belongings or someone else will.
2. Although it is difficult to estimate how big the problem is, you will at some point become aware of beggar gangs and child trafficking. Some of these children are forced to steal or beg. Some are blinded or disfigured to earn more sympathy and therefore more money. Before you give, know that your money will not go to these children, but into the pockets of their captors.
As I reflect on my experience at the train station and the time my phone was stolen and the time my second phone was stolen, I don't feel stress or anger I just know that in all these situations that I was still the lucky one.
What to avoid to stay safe!
China's children - Enslaved and forced to work as beggars
Criminal Gangs 'Crippling Children and forcing them to work as beggars'.
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